European Grey Cast Iron Prices Notch Upward Momentum in Early February
- 10-Feb-2023 2:59 PM
- Journalist: Nicholas Seifield
Grey Cast Iron sheet prices increased in the European market during the week ending on February 10, 2023, supported by demand recovery and full order books at mills. According to market participants, the Grey Cast Iron market remained firm in major importing regions, supported by higher-level new sales and growing downstream inquiries. Aside from the two major hubs, the United States and Europe, Asia also shows increased demand, as evidenced by higher offers for Grey Cast Iron. After making several large purchases in January, European Grey Cast Iron buyers remain in the market to secure more material. The European Grey Cast Iron demand is strong, with purchases coming primarily from the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) region. Transactions from Grey Cast Iron manufacturers allowed to trade in Europe are now in the range of USD 2250-2350/MT ex-Konigsbronn (Germany).
Major distributors claim that road and rail transportation costs remain a source of concern. Grey Cast Iron experienced variable trends in January, but the market remained stable overall. The rise in Grey Cast Iron sheet quotations in mid-January was followed by reasonable demand from steel mills, though some plants restarted late and did not operate at full capacity. Prices remained stable until the end of January after rising by USD 30-40/MT in the first half of the month. As a whole, sentiment for Grey Cast Iron sheets in February appears to be positive, albeit with some uncertainty about steel mill production volumes.
According to our sources, ArcelorMittal, one of the world's leading steel manufacturers, resumed the Blast Furnace A (BF-A) operation at its Gijon plant in northern Spain in early February 2023. The unit has been idle since the end of September 2022 due to the uncertain economic outlook and unfavorable market conditions such as soaring energy prices, limited consumption, and higher operating costs. However, company officials have stated that BF A will be restarted with a reduced production rate in early February. A number of the company's blast furnaces in Europe were scheduled to be shut down in the fourth quarter. The company's annual capacity would have been reduced by approximately 7 million metric tonnes by the end of 2022.
ChemAnalyst anticipates that Grey Cast Iron prices will remain elevated in February 2023 due to increased demand inquiries from domestic players. Inventory levels are expected to remain high as several European mills ramp up production. As a result of higher stockpiles and the lower downstream demand, Grey Cast Iron prices are expected to fall by 2.4% in March.