Steel has had a very interesting year, ending nearly where it started but for steel producers, hope that an upward price trend will continue into 2010. And certainly, the price momentum for key raw material components used in steel-making indeed appear to suggest prices will increase. But demand has remained a persnickety little problem for producers as it has undergone more of a de-stocking/re-stocking run-up and run-down throughout the year as opposed to anything steady. Next year, according to some, based on demand for at least one key end market will look different. For one, the automotive sector, according to this post we ran last week suggesting an enormous pent-up demand. But that won’t help all producers, nor will it drive the entire market (most steel for automotive consumption is galvanized and produced by integrated mills with galvanizing lines).
Other stories came to the fore in 2009 involving steel and some with profound ramifications on end markets such as oil and gas. The OCTG and line pipe cases represent some of the largest domestic trade cases. Anti-dumping cases will likely continue in 2010 albeit at a slower pace.
Here are some of the key stories involving steel that may impact markets next year:
- China Looking to Close Hundreds of Steel Mills
- Iron Ore Pricing Sure to Increase: Steel Prices to Follow
- BHP Moves Coking Coal to Spot Pricing
We will come out with our 2010 steel price predictions during the early part of January along with a production cost model for electric arc furnace produced steel.