IREPAS chairman: Outlook for next quarter is very good as long as there is no surprise from China
At the opening of the SteelOrbis 2017 Fall Conference & 77th IREPAS Meeting held in Athens on September 24-26, Murat Cebecioglu, chairman of IREPAS, the global association of producers and exporters of long steel products, and also export manager of Turkish steelmaker ICDAS, welcomed all the participants to the event. The SteelOrbis 2017 Fall Conference & 77th IREPAS Meeting has gathered over 400 participants together, including a total of 130 representatives from 52 steel producers and 76 representatives from 43 raw material suppliers.
Mr. Cebecioglu said that the current scenario in the global long steel products market is certainly much better thanks to improving global demand and decreasing pressure from China. He indicated that some months ago steel demand in China was expected to decrease for the remainder of the year but this is not happening. With strong domestic consumption of steel in China, the prospects for Chinese steel exports continue to decrease. Ongoing increases in demand raise productivity and utilization rates for steel mills elsewhere.
In addition to declining exports from China, overall low inventories, low interest rates and the cheaper US dollar are also helping to boost the global market. Mr. Cebecioglu underlined that better economic conditions for GDP growth around the globe likewise help a lot, as does the delay in possible protectionist measures by the Trump administration under Section 232.
“The last quarter of the year is always very challenging. But we believe the outlook for the next quarter is very good as long as there is no surprise from China. Increasing prices and a solid supply-demand balance combined with low inventories have given everyone reason to believe that the strength of price levels will be sustained up to Christmas,” the IREPAS chairman concluded.
*This was published on SteelOrbis website on September 25, 2017.