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Global long steel market outlook stable amid continued uncertainty: IREPAS

The short-term outlook for the global long steel market is expected to be stable for the rest of June as uncertainty around steel tariff measures persists, according to the International Rebar Producers and Exporters Association (IREPAS).

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Following the US tariffs imposed on steel imports from Canada, Mexico and the EU from June 1, the main steel markets now face more equal trading conditions that provide some stability, the association said on their website.

The new tariffs are some relief for Turkish mills that were not exempted from such tariffs in May, unlike Canada, Mexico and the EU.

“With Europe, Mexico and Canada all being on the same level playing field, this will strengthen the competitiveness of Turkish mills and bring them back to the US import market, which in turn will also bring the Turkish mills back to the scrap market,” the association said in its statement.

As a result, IREPAS expects that US domestic prices to rise amid diminishing supply and in line with higher import price, while overall US imports in 2018 are expected to surpass volumes in 2017.

Meanwhile, higher US domestic rebar prices could further lead to higher international scrap prices that could lead to a rebound in long product prices internationally due to higher production costs for Turkish and European mills likewise.

However, despite somewhat bullish price developments expected, uncertainty persists in steel markets that “is holding buyers back from making long-term decisions,” the association said.

The potential for EU safeguard measures and rumors that Canada might receive a tariff reduction adds to confusion in the market.

“Since everything seems to be possible with the Trump Administration, customers are taking their time to decide where to buy,” IREPAS said in its statement.
Source: Platts

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