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 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.
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.
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