For the Quarter Ending September 2022
In Q3 2022, Steel Plate prices followed the downfall trend in the North American market amid rising signs of a recession and weakening manufacturing indicators. Throughout the quarter, the manufacturing units faced a larger demand-supply gap between the HRC and plate, leading to a price drop for Steel Plate. Steel plate prices kept declining, as steel manufacturing firm Nucor reduced its plate prices in the mid-quarter. In addition, lead times increased from 3-5 weeks to 5-6 weeks. Many buyers refuse to make purchases that would increase their inventories, preferring to keep stocks tight rather than take risks in an uncertain market. In the USA, the prices of Steel plates were USD 1884 per MT Ex-works Texas.
During the third quarter of 2022, Steel Plate prices witnessed a declining price trend in the Asian market. According to market participants, global steel prices remained under pressure from various sources in the third quarter of 2022, including the Russia-Ukraine conflict and its numerous difficulties, as well as the impact of COVID-19 cases in China on overall steel demand. Lower exports contribute to inventory build-up, forcing steel manufacturers to halt production slightly in the third quarter. Prices thus remained southbound in Q3 2022, with participants taking a wait-and-see approach, waiting for the price slide to stabilize before returning to the market. Towards the quarter's end, the prices of Steel Plates in China were USD 3566 per MT, FOB Tianjin.
In the European market, Steel Plate prices witnessed a declining trend in the third quarter of 2022 amidst Europe's ongoing inflationary pressures and weak consumption. Germany faced higher inflationary pressure, and local Steel Plate producers are also under cost pressure, pushing the stainless-steel prices. Furthermore, western sanctions did not have the desired effect on the Russian steel industry in the third quarter. However, Russian steelmakers are forced to seek out newer markets and logistics routes to deliver their steel products and raw materials. Towards the end of the third quarter, the prices of Steel Plates in Germany were USD 1155 per MT Ex Ruhr.
For the Quarter Ending June 2022
Steel Plate prices witnessed mixed sentiments in the North American market during the second quarter of 2022. However, since Russia invaded Ukraine, steel prices have significantly rebounded due to supply concerns and an increase in lead times. Steel prices rose sharply as the war threatened supplies from the two major producing countries. Due to supply chain disruptions, the conflict resulted in a reduction in steel input costs. However, after surging around mid-April, the rally in Steel Plate prices has slowed as prices have begun to fall. Prices have dropped by more than 20% since their peak in April. Furthermore, mills are negotiating lower prices for new orders. Steel prices are under pressure in the short term due to these factors and fears of a recession. Nonetheless, strong demand in critical end-user markets bodes well for the steel industry. Despite the semiconductor crunch, steel producers expect continued healthy demand in the automotive market. Order activity in the non-residential construction market is also vigorous, highlighting the industry's underlying strength.
In the Asian market, steel plate prices experienced mixed market sentiment. On the other hand, Steel Plate prices skyrocketed in April and May due to rising raw material and transportation costs. Japanese steelmakers have been working hard to shift production overseas to their home market. The decision was influenced by the rapidly falling yen, global supply-chain constraints, geopolitical threats, and shifting wage patterns. According to market participants, a shortage of semiconductors has dampened steel demand in the automobile industry. Furthermore, Nippon Steel raised the prices of Steel Plates used in construction materials and pushed for additional price increases, escalating inflationary pressures in a country where the automobile industry is already dealing with rising costs. Prices for steel plates fell in June due to lower demand, a bearish long steel segment, and a lack of firm offers from overseas buyers. Mild Steel (JIS 3101-10 mm) plate prices for Ex Osaka settled at USD 1005/MT as a ripple effect.
In the European market, the Steel Plate prices witnessed a mixed trend during the second quarter of 2022, as the impact of sanctions and rising prices reduced customer purchasing power. Meanwhile, raw material price inflation accelerated due to an unfavorable exchange rate and material shortages. As per market players, the drop comes as Europe's economy slows, rising commodity prices and inflation denting consumption across the continent. After the war sparked concern about a disruption in steel exports from Russia and Ukraine, service centers and factories rebuilt stockpiles, reducing the need for consumers to buy products at historically high prices. Some participants cite that material delivery delays held up the processing of incoming new orders in May and June, mainly to the effect of sanctions, and with the backlog, work decreased only fractionally. Meanwhile, output continued to decline amid a steep further fall in exports and shortages of raw materials.