Wednesday, February 08, 2017

Price of steel tinplate

Did you know that we shown monthly tinplate prices on our website?
For the latest world tinplate prices, visit us at

Better still why not subscribe to our steel price service, and get access to steel prices for the last 15 years?  
The cost is just $120 per year.


Andrew M Kotas

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Tuesday, February 07, 2017

Aerospace steel news

Looking for aerospace steel news – or other high strength metal sector news?

Andrzej M Kotas

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Thursday, December 29, 2016

Rebar prices

We now show historic steel prices on our website including rebar prices as well as HRC, CRC and other price data.The historic data goes back to year 2001 and is shown monthly.

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Wednesday, December 28, 2016

World steel prices 2001 - 2016

We now show world steel prices for the period 2001- 2016 on our website. Visit us at

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Monday, December 12, 2016

End-2016 changes in steelmaking input costs

If you are watching steelmaking input costs, you will have noticed the marked increases in input costs of recent months. For example,

- Thermal coal has moved from $78/tonne in September to $107 in November 2016 (Australian coal, fob Newcastle/Port Kembla)
- Iron ore has moved from $57/tonne to $72/tonne (Chinese imported iron ore fines (62% Fe spot, CFR Tianjin port)
- Natural gas has increased from $4.01 to $4.54/m BTUs (Russian origin - border price in Germany expressed in US $ per million metric British Thermal Units).

The full time series for these costs can be seen at

According to Platts, met coke prices also doubled earlier this year (see

Surely steel prices will catch up soon?

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Thursday, September 08, 2016

Chinese and other threats to European Rebar Producers

The following extract is from an ISSB discussion about future threats to European producers of steel rebar.

Deformed Rebar is a very important product for certain European long product producers. After Turkey and Ukraine, the other countries in the top five exporters list are the Southern European nations of Italy, Spain and Portugal. It may come as a surprise to learn that Algeria is the most important export market for each of these countries with Italy alone shipping around 1.2 million tonnes of rebar to the country each year. This important market accounts for about 76% of all tonnage exported from Italy and about two thirds of exports from Spain.

Southern European producers enjoy a fairly unique situation in Algeria as a 2005 agreement between Algeria and the EU permits free trade between the two regions and Algeria imposes an import duty on shipments from the dominant player in the market, Turkey. Despite this, however, there are indications that this beneficial situation may not carry on indefinitely.

In a situation familiar in other parts of the world, Chinese rebar producers have identified an opportunity in Algeria and Chinese exports of all HR bars to the country have increased from 131 tonnes in 2013 to 345,000 tonnes in 2015 and a further increase so far in 2016. This already seems to have had the effect of displacing Spanish and Portuguese tonnage as exports from Spain have fallen by 440,000 tonnes in the same period whilst shipments from Portugal were down 141,000 tonnes. The Italian producers seem to be more aggressive in defending their market share, however, with more modest declines.

The long-term threat may not actually be coming from China, however, as in the face of falling tax revenues from the collapse in the oil price, the Algerian government is looking to diversify its industry away from the oil and gas sector. In order to facilitate this, they are looking to invest in steel projects and are mandating that government sector end users prioritise locally produced products over imports. In addition, the government has imposed a two million tonne limit on rebar imports this year and has revoked some import licenses.

On the supply side, Tosyali Algerie has a 500,000 tonne a year rebar mill which started production in 2013 and has initiated an expansion to nearly double its steelmaking capacity, although a timeline for the project has not yet been announced. The old Arcelor Mittal plant, which passed into the government's hands in October has a 400,000 tonne per year rebar mill and it is looking to add another long products mill with a capacity of one million tonnes by 2017. Finally, a joint venture between the state owned steel company and Qatar Steel has been initiated which is expected to have a 750,000 tonne per year rebar mill up and running by the end of 2017.

So far this year Italian exports have increased by 6% and Portuguese exports grew by 21%, offset by a 34% decline in Spanish shipments but how long can European producers hang on to this vital market given the two-pronged assault from Chinese producers and the measures taking place to grow the rebar industry within Algeria itself? Given that combined, these three countries supply well over two million tonnes a year to Algeria, the loss of this market would likely have profound consequences for the rebar industry in Europe.

For further information on steel-related statistics and data, visit

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Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Iron ore price forecast

The international iron ore price is set to collapse later this year. According to a new analysts’ report, the price of the raw material will drop to a year-end low of $US37 a tonne, averaging $US47 in the fourth quarter and $US38 in the first three months of 2017.

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Friday, July 01, 2016

Impact of Brexit on UK steel sector

The following extract is from an ISSB discussion about the probable impact of Brexit on the UK steel sector.

There has been much conjecture over both the short-term and long-term effects of the UK referendum vote to leave the EU but how will the result effect the steel industry in the country? The simple answer is of course that no-one knows for sure but there are some things we can look into.

One important aspect is the effect the vote will have on markets for steel products, and in particular the key automotive and construction sectors. The UK automotive sector has been a success story over the past few years with SMMT figures showing a 13.6% rise in production in the first five months of 2016. The successful future of this industry will most likely hinge on whether the UK can retain its free trade deal with the EU, an outcome viewed as likely given the importance of the UK as a premium market for German manufactured vehicles. In the short term, however, the uncertainty is thought to lead to a slow-down in growth for the industry.

The factors affecting the construction industry are rather different. Although the market has been strong in recent months with an estimated 9% growth in steel-intensive heavy construction based on heavy section sales, the Brexit vote brings uncertainty to the industry. The share price performance of the UK's listed construction companies hints at the fact the market is viewing a slowdown as likely with the construction of large steel-intensive buildings reliant to some extent on the economic health of the country as a whole. The industry may also experience cost inflation, particularly in regard to worker wage inflation if restrictions are placed on skilled EU workers entering the country.

While the outlook for the markets for steel products is mixed, the vote could potentially offer some hope to the steel industry. The UK steel industry has undergone an unprecedented period of turmoil over the past year with issues such as aggressively priced Chinese imports and expensive energy costs given as factors. In leaving the EU, Britain should be able to self-determine more effective solutions to both of these issues should the political will be forthcoming.

If domestic markets are about to enter uncertain times then more importance may be given to UK exports. One immediate effect of the Brexit vote was the depreciation of sterling. In just one month, the pound has fallen by 8% against both the US dollar and the euro which is a very significant slide in forex terms. This has the effect of making UK produced goods much more competitive in export markets and although raw material prices such as iron ore and coking coal will become relatively more expensive too, the steel scrap price will not be affected by currency movements.

Again, the success of the export market will likely depend on trade agreements struck with the US and the EU in particular but a look at the trade figures suggest an agreement should be in the best interests of many other EU nations.

The EU as a whole is the most important export market for the UK for finished steel. In Q1 of this year 685K tonnes of steel was shipped to the region, accounting for just under 65% of the total exported. Germany, Ireland and Belgium were the most important single markets in the EU, although it should be noted that non-EU Turkey was the largest market for UK produced steel.

Of importance, however, is the fact that this export figure was dwarfed by the import tonnage, with imports from the EU accounting for 71% of the total with the tonnage from the EU being nearly twice that of exports, at 1.2 million tonnes. This means that the UK is a large net importer of finished steel from the EU. In Q1, the UK imported more than 100K tonnes from each of the following member states: Germany, Spain, the Netherlands, Belgium and France. The UK was also the second largest "non-EU" destination for German steel after Switzerland, itself a member of the European Free Trade Association.

Whilst the British vote to leave the EU will likely cause heightened uncertainty and risk and much depends on the political will and diplomatic nous of the leaders of the country, it seems clear that there are potential opportunities for an industry that has suffered its fair share of issues over the past year.

For further information visit the ISSB website at or check out for the latest steel news.

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Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Böllinghaus has a new website

Böllinghaus Steel is well known as a specialist for stainless steel longs. Daily customers from all over the world are visiting the website of the company, which is on the market for more than 125 years. This long lasting tradition bases on highest possible product quality, reliable processing, customer friendly services and a passion for stainless steel.

Consciousness of tradition does not necessarily mean that the Böllinghaus team is content with the goals achieved. The stainless steel experts are permanently aiming at improving and enlarging their international presence and their product range. That is why the customer’ demands are so important.

A clear and distinct appearance in the public is part of a friendly customer relationship. Although Böllinghaus Steel is well accepted worldwide by its customers the company has easily to be found and identified in the world wide web. Bearing this in mind the company created a new internet presence. Under the IP address a visitor is presented a clearly structured and easily operable website with a modern and manageable design. Often it takes just one click to achieve the desired result.

At Böllinghaus Steel a friendly customer relationship begins already on the homepage

Contact address

Böllinghaus Steel GmbH
Nina Härtel
Hofstraße 64
D-40723 Hilden
Tel. +49 2103 88 010-38



Thursday, June 09, 2016

Sanjeev Gupta calls for radical change to make the UK steel industry competitive again

Sanjeev Gupta, Executive Chairman of the Liberty House Group, has just posted a video calling for radical change to make the struggling UK steel industry competitive again. The script below gives more information and the video and full script can be accessed on:

Hello. My name is Sanjeev Gupta. I run Liberty House Group.

I’d like to address everyone out there who, like me, is concerned about the future of the UK Steel industry.
The current turmoil and uncertainty in our sector presents us with a significant challenge – one that we need to address in order to safe guard its future. But this challenge also provides us with a great opportunity to re-shape our industry so that can make it successful and profitable again.

What we need is new thinking, a fresh approach, an innovative strategy that can provide a much needed change from the current status-quo. My team and I have such a strategy and I’d like to share it with you.
What are the facts? We in Britain invented modern steel making, yet today a staggering 80% of the 21 million tonnes of steel and steel products we consume every year comes from abroad. A century and a half ago we were the first to mass produce mild steel; yet over time as our raw materials diminished other countries have taken the lead.

We should not be surprised by this - it is part of globalisation. It is our responsibility as an industrial nation to constantly re-define our capabilities to keep us current in a highly competitive market.  
Other countries – such as the United States in the 1980s – did take steps to remain competitive.
The Americans looked at all the steel that had already been produced. Buildings, bridges, cars - all ultimately re-cyclable. Then they supplemented their blast furnaces with arc furnaces, and today 70% of their steel consumption comes from recycled materials.
So why has recycling steel never taken root in the United Kingdom? Expensive power? Or lack of investment? Whatever the cause it has left us with over reliance on old technologies which force us to import 100% of our iron ore and coal for our blast furnaces and export the majority of our steel scrap to be re-melted in other countries so that we can buy it back again. What is more UK customers that want to buy UK steel find its price too high and are forced to  rely on imports.
It is clear that today our UK steel sector is in a precarious and unsustainable position with no viable long term future. We have two options - one path continues the status quo leading inevitably to a final demise. The other leads to a new industrial renaissance.
At Liberty, we have already made our choice. We have begun an ambitious process, designed to trigger the revival of UK manufacturing: re-growing UK steel and downstream engineering products, re-invigorating the supply chain, championing the development of new sustainable sources of power, generating tens of thousands of new skilled jobs, and stimulating new sectors in the economy.
Of course the UK will continue to need some blast furnaces. But what we need even more are electric arc furnaces, small mini-mills that can be dotted around the country, next to customers, powered by low cost carbon free electricity. These mini-mills will take in the mountain of scrap steel we produce every year (up to 20 million tonne in the next 2 decades) and turn them into a range of steels and steel products.
Our strategy for achieving it is called GREENSTEEL, and it has three elements.
  • The first is to invest in electric arc furnaces alongside blast furnaces, and to begin to tackle the mountain of our own steel that we can recycle.
  • The second is to invest in low cost long term renewable power, as close to the steel plants as possible.
  • The third is to invest in engineering companies that use this steel and turn it into advanced components for existing and new UK based growth industries.
Liberty has an outstanding track record. In the last year we have revived 7 steel plants and re-employed over 1,500 workers. Our leadership team is composed of many of the industry’s leading executives. We have all the skills and the knowledge to to re-invent this industry.

In our view this is the only comprehensive, proven and sustainable holistic approach that will bring stability and growth to the UK Steel sector.

Thank you for listening.

For this and other steel news visit

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