Steel Price Forecast, May 2017: European Steelmakers Challenging EU Reforms

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Liquid steel.

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European steelmakers are coming together to fight a common enemy: EU carbon reforms.

According to a recent report from Reuters, steelmakers across the continent are writing EU leaders, emphasizing they not burden the industry with what they feel are superfluous carbon emission regulation costs. Such costs, they argue, would put them at a competitive disadvantage with their global peers as well as increase the risk of job cuts and plant closures.

“You can avoid burdening the sector with high costs that will constrict investment, or that will increase the risk of job losses and plant closures in the EU,” the CEOs say in an open letter, obtained by Reuters, dated May 28, to EU heads of state and government.

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“In its current form, the EU ETS [Emissions Trading System] favors steel imports from third country competitors that do not have such costs and which have a far higher carbon footprint than steel made in the EU,” the letter continues.

Domestic Steel Prices Drop

With U.S. and international steel prices widening “to unsustainable levels,” according to our own Raul de Frutos, May has seen a drop from this industrial metal and de Frutos warns this could only be the beginning.

De Frutos writes: “Hot-rolled prices have fallen around 5% since they peaked in April. Meanwhile, steel prices in China have started to stabilize after a slump during March/April.

“The price spread appears to have peaked near the same levels as it did last summer,” de Frutos continued. “U.S. steel prices will likely continue to fall, bringing this price arbitrage down.”

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