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

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February 2020 | Steel Forecaster

China’s virus problems start alarm that spreads to scrap markets: International Long Product Market Analysis

Chinese exporters are selling into nearby countries where most construction sector markets are in the doldrums.

Bad timing in bad times
The coronavirus outbreak could not have come at a worse time for Chinese steelmakers; the Lunar New Year holiday guaranteed the maximum dispersal of the population; together with the late application of containment measures this ensured the most severe and the most widespread application of lockdown quarantine; and preparation work required extension of the holiday. The outbreak has also dispelled optimism raised by news of the accord negotiated in the trade dispute with the US – which was little enough, as it does no more than call a truce, while leaving a raft of tariffs and anti-dumping measures in effect.

As the nation returned to work – except for migrant workers still trapped in quarantine in their family homes - continuous process BF-BOF mills had an extra week of production to clear to customers. There was some panic selling as markets re-opened, which drove prices...


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