For the Quarter Ending December 2022
The fourth quarter of 2022 saw a significant drop in the price of the galvanized plain sheet in the US market due to declining demand dynamics and lengthy lead times. US Steel had already shut down two blast furnaces as a consequence of imminent market conditions. Buyers continued to prioritize reducing inventories for all products through the end of the year, which prevented them from participating in the spot market made possible by domestic mills' shorter lead times as opposed to imports' longer lead times. Market participants said that lead times had increased from 6 weeks to 6-7 weeks and that the regional market's inventory level was sufficient to satisfy domestic demand. Several significant manufacturers have increased their quotation range in response to price hikes in the marketplace. In addition, market participants saw that steel mills were sticking to their offers despite a slowdown in purchasing activity before the year's conclusion. However, the market was keeping a watch on raw material pricing. As a ripple effect, Hot Dipped Galvanised Sheet (1 mm) prices fur Ex Midwest (USA) set at USD 994/MT.
Galvanized plain sheet pricing in China showed an up-swinging pattern in the fourth quarter of 2022 despite changing downstream inquiries. Market participants claim that the first half of Q4 saw a decline in steel prices as a result of constant supply and demand imbalances and inconsistencies. Due to contamination in Sichuan's waters, the Provincial Environmental Protection Department ordered some zinc smelters to halt production, resulting in a limited output of related refineries. Additionally, several smelters experienced output delays, and as a result of the growing number of COVID-19-infected workers, transportation efficiency also suffered. At the close of the fourth quarter, some enterprises were compelled to reduce or halt production for maintenance due to a labor shortage and a decline in terminal orders. The price of Hot Dipped Galvanized Sheet (1 mm) for Ex Shandong (China) was assessed at USD 736/MT as a knock-on effect.
Galvanized Plain Sheet prices in Europe showed a downward trend in the fourth quarter of 2022 because of cautious consumer behavior and rising inventory levels. According to market participants, the market was rather quiet in October, and large manufacturers negotiated more export sales contracts for markets in neighboring Europe, like France. Several market participants reported in Mid-Q4 that distributors of Hot-Dipped Galvanized Plain Sheets were active because they needed to secure certain volumes for January. In December, a lack of purchasing interest in Galvanized Plain Sheets was caused by insufficient demand from the downstream automobile industry, combined with still-high stock levels at steel service centers and stockholders. In general, some customers feel the need to refill, but they prefer to hold off until the price has reached its lowest level before doing so for the first quarter of 2023. As a result, the price for Hot Dipped Galvanized Sheet (1 mm) for Ex Ruhr (Germany) was agreed upon at USD 796/MT.
For the Quarter Ending September 2022
In the North American market, the Galvanized Plain Sheet prices witnessed a declining trend owing to the limited demand from the downstream players amidst higher inventory levels. In August, US steel prices continued to fall, with hot-dipped galvanized prices reaching their lowest level since January 2021. Steelmakers' margins are being eroded by persistently high costs and falling prices. Many market participants believe the move was made to halt the continuous price decline for Hot-Dipped Galvanised Plates. Current high prices do not correspond to historically long mill lead times, which have traditionally been a leading indicator of availability and demand. In addition to declining price trends and a deteriorating demand outlook, North American flat-rolled steel producers are now under pressure from rising input costs. SDI's Sinton, Texas, mill has recently been operating at 75-80% capacity, but it experienced multiple production curtailments and power supply issues in July, resulting in lower output. Thus, the Hot Dipped Galvanised Sheet (1 mm) prices for FOB Chicago (USA) settled at USD 1337/MT.
In the third quarter of 2022, the Galvanized Plain Sheet prices fell sharply as Tangshan billet fell sharply, resulting in a sharp decline in coke and iron ore futures. The mood of merchants in the spot market was gloomy, and the price fell as a result. Private steel mill losses increased, putting even more strain on merchants' funds at the end of the month. Steel mills began to suppress raw material prices and limit production to balance supply and demand, but it still took time to reshape the balance through production reduction. Overall, the society's Treasury inventory remains high, off-season characteristics are visible, demand and consumption are inactive, and the pressure of resource digestion is significant. Rising zinc and soaring energy costs will squeeze margins for hot-dip galvanized (HDG) coil manufacturers without a substantial rise in inquiries and price recovery in mid-August and September. Thus, the discussions of Hot Dipped Galvanised Sheet (1 mm) and Pre Painted Galvanised Sheet (1 mm) prices for Ex Shandong (China), and Ex TIANJIN (China) settled at USD 731/MT and USD 874/MT.
The Galvanized Plain Sheet prices witnessed a sliding price trend in the European market in the third quarter of 2022 amidst the lower demand outlook and higher production costs. According to market participants, manufacturers are struggling with additional orders and will reduce discounts for special deals. Furthermore, the automotive sector sent mixed signals, with order intake reported as low but increasing. Given the lengthy automotive backlog, market players were cautiously optimistic that orders would be maintained in the future. Additionally, manufacturers have confirmed that coil products have been at or near a bottom since July. In recent months, European flat product suppliers have reduced output to align supply with available demand. Prices should be reduced beginning in September. The European Commission is imposing definitive anti-dumping duties on imports of HDG steel coils and sheets from Russia and Turkey after discovering evidence that Turkish and Russian material was sold at dumping margins ranging from 2.4% to 39.8%. Therefore, the discussions of Hot Dipped Galvanised Sheet (1 mm) prices for FOB Hamburg (Germany) settled at USD 994/MT.
For the Quarter Ending June 2022
The US market for Hot-Dipped Galvanised Plate fell in the second quarter of 2022 compared to the first quarter, owing to weak demand and falling scrap prices. According to market participants, buyers face higher transportation costs and logistical bottlenecks. Most market participants predict price stability to lower scrap costs, but the Russian invasion of Ukraine and changes in the supply chain added further volatility to pig iron imports this year; demand remains strong in the short term. Service centers have been more active in the spot market, but mills have remained firm on offers. Mills have announced price increases for rebar to compete with imports and freight increases. Mills have announced rebar price increases to compete with imports, as well as increases in freight rates, as even imports face port congestion and higher trucking costs from the ports. Buyers claim that imports will arrive in September, causing prices to fall in the coming quarters.
In the European market, the Hot Dipped Galvanised plate witnessed a declining trend in the second quarter of 2022, primarily due to the plunging demand from the automobile and construction sectors amidst reduced import offers. With anticipated restocking and some EU manufacturers planning to stop galvanizing lines for maintenance, domestic supply will be reduced. As per market players, the mills have July-August delivery, but deals are mainly done for smaller tonnages for September delivery, as buyers have started to plan their stocks for autumn. Additionally, exporters are planning price rises for Europe after India introduced export duties on finished steel. Demand in the southern market was similarly muted, with no transactional activity. However, mills don't seem to be cutting production, and there is no chance to keep prices from falling with current demand and production rates. As a ripple effect, the Hot Dipped Galvanised plate showcased muted demand, primarily due to steelmakers' engagement in negotiations for long-term automotive contracts.
The Hot Dipped Galvanised Sheet market in Asia witnessed fluctuating market dynamics due to resumed production activity and decreased demand due to Covid-19 outbreaks in China. In addition, with increased supply expected after the country's steelmaking hub of Tangshan lifted its lockdown, Hot Dipped Galvanised Sheet prices fell further in April. Meanwhile, export demand remained weak, as rapid and sharp price drops kept buyers off the market. However, the Chinese market experienced an upward trend in May due to rising inflationary pressures and the resumption of industrial activities. Due to volatile coke costs and a continuous decline, mill losses are becoming more visible, and production cuts are increasing, alleviating inventory pressure in the short term. While the domestic Galvanized Steel Sheet market remained stable in June, gradually shifting to the traditional off-season period. Even though work and production have resumed in various locations, weather issues have impacted on-the-spot consumption. As a result, the prices for Hot-Dipped Galvanised Sheet and Pre-Painted Galvanised Sheet for Ex Shandong and Ex Tianjin settled at USD 890/MT and USD 970/MT, respectively.
For the Quarter Ending March 2022
In the USA, the Galvanised Plain Sheet prices witnessed soaring market sentiments in the first quarter of 2022 amidst the outburst of war in Ukraine, and European sheet manufacturers experienced swirling raw material costs and disrupted supply chains. A few remained active but endeavored to confine order intake by offering very high prices for Galvanised Plain Sheet. According to market players, distributors increased their resale deals throughout March to hold stocks and supply regular buyers. During the first two weeks of March, the rapid price escalations boosted more panic buying among participants. Most distributors harboured sufficient stocks and were reluctant to replenish at rising values amid reduced inventory availability and robust demand from end-users. Market participants face two choices: reorder quotations at skyrocketing prices or allow gaps to appear in warehouses.
In India, the Galvanised Plain Sheet witnessed an upward trend due to rising raw material and coking coal prices. The prolonged hostility between Russia and Ukraine has stretched the supply chains, rocketing raw material prices. However, Indian steel manufacturers have raised quotations of CR Coil by more than USD 30-40 per tonne because of soaring coking coal prices. Additionally, Zinc metal prices also upsurged in the domestic market of India. Despite this, the Hot Dipped Galvanised Sheet declined in China due to the resumed production activity and decreased demand amidst the Covid-19 outbreaks. Also, with the expectations of increased supply after the country's steelmaking hub of Tangshan lifted its lockdown, the Hot Dipped Galvanised Sheet prices further plunged. Additionally, the Chinese mills slashed their export quotations for Hot-Dipped Galvanized Steel Sheets due to poor demand. As a ripple effect, the prices of Hot dipped Galvanised Sheet (1mm) for Ex-Mumbai, and Ex Shandong was assessed at INR 85350/MT and USD 885/MT during March-end.
During the first quarter of 2022, the Galvanised Plain Sheet prices witnessed soaring market sentiments in Russia due to the firm demand from downstream sectors and weak supply amidst the ongoing militancy between Russia and Ukraine. This extending conflict has provoked the prices of the raw materials, primarily coking coal and iron ore prices, to soar. Additionally, the coking coal prices tripled during mid-March owing to supply constraints and inflation over prices of crude and power. Meanwhile, domestic Steel manufacturers were adjusting to soaring energy prices and availability issues amid transport sit-downs pushed by the high fuel costs. According to Russian Market players, the power crisis amidst rising inflation over crude and power prices forced them to lean toward overseas supplies. Russia is among the leading steel exporters, and its war indulgence has uprooted the supply chain. However, Western countries' sanctions imposed on Russia have two-folded the impact on the Russian market. As a ripple effect, the Galvanised Plain Sheet prices showcased an uptick trend.