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GMK CEO: China, India to Bolster Steel Raw Mats Prices in 2H24

At the Kallanish Europe Steel Markets 2024 conference in Milan, GMK’s chief executive Stanislav Zinchenko highlighted the potential for sustained raw materials prices in the latter half of the year, driven by robust demand from China and India. Despite a slowdown in China’s real estate sector, stable activity in steel-using sectors and a manufacturing uptick are poised to support steel output. This is evidenced by a slight recovery in blast furnace capacity utilization from 86.7% in April to 89.5% in May, setting the stage for possible increases in steel output and consumption.

In India, the completion of general elections and a focus on infrastructure projects are expected to bolster raw material demands. Indian steel consumption saw a 9.4% rise year-on-year in April, with hot rolled coil prices also climbing. Although seasonal weather fluctuations typically dampen demand, a post-monsoon season resurgence is expected.

In Europe, rising energy costs have already impacted steelmaking, adding approximately €8 per ton to production costs. However, Zinchenko remains optimistic about the business climate and steel demand in the second half of the year, forecasting that EU hot rolled coil prices could rise to between €700 and €720 per ton by the fourth quarter. This expected price increase is partly attributed to reduced import pressures and non-competitive pricing from traditional suppliers like India, alongside adjustments to the EU’s safeguard quotas.

Source: Eurometal