This week’s risks to our latest flat-rolled forecasts:
- The Chinese government is stepping up help to the economy, increasing banks’ liquidity. But the spread of the coronavirus worldwide is likely to hit trade flows and export-oriented manufacturers in China, which would negatively impact steel demand.
- Following the oil price drop and market turmoil, US flat steel prices are likely to settle below our forecasts in late Q1 and Q2, but we could see an upward correction later in the year once markets stabilize.
- Italian long steel producers started to shut some facilities amid countrywide lockdown as market activity came to a halt. With frozen construction demand, we are expecting to see price declines until quarantine measures are lifted.
- There were reports about increased activity of Turkish and Qatari rebar sellers in Southeast Asia which is likely to lead to lower prices, impacting in turn all exporters to the region.