Research

Forecasts and market analysis based on price assessments from Fastmarkets MB and Fastmarkets AMM

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January 2019 | North American Steels


After an unpredictable year more challenges in store for 2019: US Flat Product Highlights


US flat steel prices started to rise in anticipation of trade protection measures, before any details were available, but the actual announcement led to an 11.7% month-on-month jump in HRC prices in March, and the uptrend continued until July.

December closed a volatile year for US flat steel prices, with Section 232 disturbing traditional market dynamics. Section 232 measures were signed into law on March 8, introducing 25% tariffs on steel imports, with exemptions initially given to Canada, Mexico and Australia; EU, South Korea, Brazil and Argentina were later added to this list. South Korea, Brazil and Argentina soon agreed to quotas as a way to gain tariff-free access to the US market, while imports from Nafta and the EU countries became subject to tariffs from June 1. In August, Turkey’s rate was hiked to 50%, in effect halting steel exports to the US.

US flat steel prices started to rise in anticipation of trade protection measures, before any details were available, but the actual announcement led to an 11.7% month-on-month jump in HRC prices in March, and the uptrend continued until July. The HRC index peaked...

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