The Instituto Aço Brasil (IABr) has reported that domestic finished steel sales in March totalled 1.93 million tonnes – up 30.4 percent, compared with the previous month’s figure. The organisation is cautiously optimistic over the outlook for the April-June quarter, citing weak underlying demand from automotive part manufacturers and construction firms.
Challenging trading conditions persist in the Russian Federation. Local trading houses are booking for immediate requirements only, due to high inventory levels and in anticipation of further price reductions. Long product steelmakers have delayed releasing their May basis quotations.
In India, Associated Chambers of Commerce & Industry of India (Assocham) has urged the Modi government to reduce domestic iron ore prices. The association has stated that a cut of around 25 percent is required to improve the competitiveness of domestic steelmakers.
The Chinese steel industry has struggled to adapt to the muted domestic trading environment. The China Iron & Steel Association (CISA) has reported that the daily output of crude steel by the leading mills in the first ten days of April totalled 1.7 million tonnes – an increase of 1.1 percent compared with the corresponding period last month.
Procurement activity in Ukraine remains erratic. Shipments to the construction sector and pipe fabricators were weaker than forecast.
Business sentiment has remained lacklustre in Turkey. Local service centres are extremely reluctant to purchase material in what they deem to be precarious trading conditions. The strength of the US dollar against the Turkish lira has only exacerbated the situation.
The trading environment is unchanged in the United Arab Emirates. Shipments to construction and infrastructure projects remain subdued. The business climate in South Africa has exhibited little sign of improvement. Local stockists plan to keep inventories low in the near term and are purchasing cautiously.