In Q1 2023, Steel Rebar prices showcased an upward momentum in the US market due to the recovery of the downstream construction sector. Mills were quiet in January, hoping for better domestic scrap market conditions. In mid-Q1, Steel Rebar prices decoupled from raw materials, but producers had little incentive to raise prices despite the possibility of higher production costs. Economic uncertainty, rising interest rates, and slow construction demand continued to hinder the industry, with limited bidding activity. Despite the anticipation of relief from the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, buyers sought lower-priced orders before rising scrap prices impacted mill pricing. Local US market sentiment improved in March, with lower service center stocks and high raw material prices contributing to the rise in completed steel prices. Nucor, Commercial Metals Company, and Gerdau's price hike in March boosted spot pricing, with domestic demand remaining strong due to seasonal construction and funding from the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act. Import bookings remained stagnant, with the latest arrivals expected in early summer. Consequently, Steel Rebar (8mm) prices for Ex-US Midwest and CFR Illinois settled at USD 942/MT and USD 890/MT, respectively.
In Q1 2023, the Chinese Steel Rebar market experienced an upswing due to the strengthening downstream construction market and fluctuations in raw material costs. Domestic steel prices rose after the Chinese New Year break as steel producers aimed to recoup their previous losses and expected a short-term demand recovery. However, physical market transactions were limited in late January as many traders and end-users had not returned to the market for procurement. In February, firm raw material prices kept Steel Rebar prices higher, while domestic Electric Arc Furnace steel mill operating rates increased in response to rising spot prices. In March, Steel Rebar prices maintained higher prices due to subdued raw material costs and downstream construction inquiries amid financial turmoil in overseas markets. Steel mills' compressed profits impacted production, and the inventory of steel mills continued to decline. As a result, Steel Rebar (HRB400 - 8 mm) prices for Ex Shanghai and FOB Shanghai settled at USD 625/MT and USD 658/MT.
During the first quarter of 2023, the European Steel Rebar market saw an increase in prices due to higher downstream construction inquiries and producers' push for price hikes. The private residential construction sector ordered smaller quantities of steel and delayed projects due to persistently high steel, cement, timber and Steel Plate Prices, causing a slower month in January. Domestic prices remained relatively stable since the end of January, with a few offers received from domestic producers quoting higher prices than other suppliers. In February, Steel rebar mills were reluctant to lower their prices any further, and buyers completed their restocking within the first ten days of the month. Steel scrap prices increased in Germany for March, and mills have begun to raise their offers accordingly. However, few buyers accepted the higher prices, and demand is decreasing. As a result, Steel Rebar prices settled at USD 900/MT and USD 945/MT for Ex Ruhr and FOB Hamburg due to low demand.
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