For the Quarter Ending March 2023
The prices of GGBFS remained unchanged at USD 57/MT FOB Texas (USA) in both February and March 2023, as traders did not raise their offers despite inflationary pressure. The market situation remained stable, with moderate supply and demand that marginally improved due to the country's recovery from prolonged inflationary pressure. No plant shutdowns were reported during this timeframe. The price trend was driven by inflation, but it eased down in the country, and the Federal Reserve hinted to stop raising interest rates further.
GGBFS prices in China remained stable at USD 51/MT Ex- Xinjiang in January, February, and March 2023 due to a stable market situation and low demand. In India, prices also remained unchanged in March 2023, after a recent price increment during early Q1 2023 due to moderate supply and moderate demand. In January 2023, GGBFS prices in India increased by 1.2% after destocking activity and marginal improvement in demand. The market situation was bullish, with moderate supply and moderate demand. In both countries, traders were trying to raise their offers in line with inflation.
In February 2023, GGBFS prices in the German market remained unchanged due to stable supply and demand. However, in the same month, prices rose by 3.6% due to high inflationary pressure despite slow demand. In January 2023, GGBFS prices remained unchanged in the balanced market with stable supply and low demand. Overall, traders had ample product availability in the market while demand remained slow from downstream buyers due to low economic activities and the looming threat of recession in Europe. Rising domestic freight charges were also a matter of concern for traders.
For the Quarter Ending December 2022
A marginal hike in price trend has been observed during this October in the US market, bolstered by prolonged inflationary pressure and domestic transpiration hurdles due to a shortage of fuel. Domestic transportation hurdles due to diesel shortages have been bothering domestic players. Supplies for the product for regular buyers remained ample during this month, while other spot buyers remained limited. Demand from the downstream cement manufacturers remained unchanged throughout the quarter, while the rising fed rate was concerning for manufacturers, as it slowed consumption in the country. Furthermore, amidst stable demand, prices remained unchanged during the other two months do the quarter.
Marginal price revision has been observed for China during October in China owing to hurdles in domestic trade activities. Demand for the product remained low due to consistent dullness in the construction sector’s performance. Marginal hurdles in domestic trade activities opportune traders to revise their offers for the current market, while rising pandemic-related uncertainties also remained a major price-affecting factor. Demand for the product remained low in China since the pandemic has resurged in the country. On the other side, the Indian market also remained stable throughout the quarter, and no such price revision was observed in the country, despite better economic growth.
No price revision was observed during this quarter, as it fluctuated enough in the previous quarter. Demand-supply fundamentals remained stable and narrow enough to support this price trend in the country. A smooth flow of cargoes was observed for this quarter in the regional market of Europe, supported by no disturbances in domestic trade activities. However, rising domestic freight charges remained a matter of concern for importers. Demand remained slow from the domestic downstream GGBFS consumers due to slowing economic activities in the country. Furthermore, the looming threat of recession also affected the traders’ perspective on imports.
For the Quarter Ending September 2022
The third quarter of 2022 saw a stable pricing trajectory for North American GGBFS due to ample stockpiles and poor downstream demand. According to the data, the Fed increased interest rates in an effort to reduce inflation, which ultimately caused a slowdown in the nation's economic activity. As a result of these frequent rate revisions, there has been a visible slowdown in economic activity, which also includes a lack of interest in the construction industry. Furthermore, the key players continued to be concerned about rising natural gas prices, which impacted production costs and ultimately put pressure on their profit margins. GGBFS price in the USA heard hovering around USD 55/MT during September 2022.
Due to accumulated stocks and weak demand from the domestic market, GGBFS prices in Asia remained unchanged during the third quarter of 2022. Despite the fact that India was preparing for its annual celebrations, stats show that economic output for the Indian market remained shockingly low throughout these three months due to low demand fundamentals in the construction industry. On the other hand, pandemic-related disturbances have been a long-term problem for the Chinese market, with the construction industry being one of the worst hits. As a result, the price of GGBFS decreased in China and stayed at about USD 49/MT in September 2022.
In the third quarter of 2022, fluctuating offtakes positively affected GGBFS pricing in the European market. According to the report, GGBFS prices continued to rise during the quarter despite weak fundamentals from the downstream construction sector and a stable supply across the nation. In order to maintain offtakes, convertors in Poland tried to offer discounts on their cargoes because of low demand and consistent production rates but could not succeed due to high energy values. GGBFS prices were therefore heard in Germany during September hanging around USD 56/MT.
For the Quarter Ending June 2022
American market remained concerned with the consistent climb in raw material costs bolstered by high inflationary pressure on consumers and rising producer price indexes in the regional market, which were later exacerbated by high fuel costs. Due to a sharp increase in production costs, the markets of the USA GGBFS were greatly disturbed. Natural gas prices increased since the Russo-Ukrainian War heated up on the European market, while the USA felt the pressure of high demand and declining stockpiles of GGBFS during May 2022. The government has been concerned as a result of manufacturers starting to pass inflationary pressure on consumers, according to a trader located in Houston who spoke with ChemAnalyst.
ChemAnalyst’s market sources based in China revealed that, under the influence of disturbing trade activities across the domestic market, GGBFS (Ground Granulated Blast Furnace Slag) prices rose in the country, and mounting raw material prices intensified the overall dynamics. Hiccups in the construction sector highly influence the Chinese economy; although the worsening epidemic hurt the country, construction raw material prices rose effectively in the local market. In the meantime, Indian players reduced their offers for the domestic market to induce offtakes from niche buyers. However, talking with ChemAnalyst, Mumbai based trader, revealed that it was a temporary measure that had been taken to encourage domestic buying activities.
Assessment by ChemAnalyst shows a significant hike of around 4% in the price of GGBFS in Germany by the end of Q2 2022 due to moderate to stable domestic market demand and rising input costs for the product. However, the data show that this price increase was primarily caused by rising input costs due to ongoing market volatility, as prices fell by 2% in May 2022. According to the statistics issued by Federal Statistical Office Germany, the consumer price index reached an all-time high of 116.2 points in April 2022, mostly driven by rising Natural gas prices in the country. Nevertheless, it was predicted that the production index would increase at the end of May and June, but it decreased in the interim. As a result, after seeing a fall in May, the GGBFS price was estimated to be approximately USD 5 per MT in June 2022 in Germany.
Ground-granulated blast-furnace slag (GGBFS) prices have remained nearly buoyant for this quarter on the back of rising energy feedstock prices. Prices have increased effectively this quarter due to firm demand from the downstream cement manufacturers. In North America, supply has been limited as the region's production has been sluggish and import amounts have been reduced due to high freight costs. Pricing offers for Si02 grade GGBFS have increased due to escalating downstream demand from the cement industry amid inadequate supplies from regional players. The price of GGBFS (SiO2– 35 percent) Ex-Texas was last assessed at USD 50/MT during February 2022. Moreover, ongoing conflict between Russia and Ukraine has been putting an upward pressure upon upstream values across the global market, hence exacerbating the inflationary pressure upon global key players. With the limited supply in the region, particularly in the United States, pricing levels are projected to continue to surge, implying that the market will remain tight.
In Asia, the Ground-granulated blast-furnace slag (GGBFS) market continued to exhibit upward price trajectory in Q1 2022 with a gain roughly about 2% (January-February) driven by the production halts, suspended operations on the account of Chinese New Year. The upstream Silica market was also under pressure from rising feedstock Crude Oil and energy prices since the beginning of Q1 of 2022. In addition, Russia’s invasion on Ukraine has disrupted the global market fundamentals, thereby, enhancing demand from downstream construction sector in the overseas market. The Chinese key players, post the holiday break, have witnessed increased enquiries for the product which led to the implementation of positive base price revisions across the region. The price discussions reached USD 46/MT for GGBFS (SiO2– 35%) Ex- Xinjiang in February 2022.
German market has seen an uprise for GGBFS and was recorded at USD 51/MT Ex- Hamburg in the month of February. The price rose due to rising demand from construction companies especially in developed economies like Germany, as they are preferring GGBFS to Portland cement due to its low carbon emission. The European union scheme to reduce the greenhouse gas emissions also contributed to the increased demand for GGBFS, since the Portland cement production kiln is a major producer of greenhouse gas emissions. Germany imports its upstream Silicate from Netherlands, and the production in Netherlands was suffering from shortage of feedstocks due to disrupted trading across Europe due to ongoing Russia-Ukraine war, escalated during February.