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Mexican steel sentiment less bearish in January: Platts survey


Finished steel price in opposite directions for flat and long steel

Raw material price increases expected with 63.3 index response

  • Author
  • Claudia Cardenas
  • Editor
  • Richard Rubin
  • Commodity
  • Metals

Bearish sentiment persists in the Mexican steel market, although expectations of further price declines are softer compared to December, data from the monthly steel sentiment survey by S&P Global Platts shows.

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The index for finished steel price development stood at 48.3, increasing 15.4 from an index of 33 in December (an index of 50 indicates stability).

In the survey conducted at the beginning of January, distributors and end-customer groups were the most bearish, while producers and traders´ groups were bullish. However, there was a notably difference between expectations of long and flat steel prices. The index showed bullish sentiment for long steel prices at 75 while bearish sentiment for flat steel prices at 40.

"We are facing uncertain times," said a distributor respondent, explaining that increased supply coupled with a lack of demand continued to put pressure on flat steel prices.

Regarding the rebar market, the distributor respondent noticed that prices hang by a thread, "the price trend is set by the needs of each plant, that is why we see a wide range of offers," the respondent added.

Participants expected finished steel inventories to see an uptick in January, with the index averaging all groups at 55, also higher than December that registered an index at 42.

Steel production and raw steel price indexes were the most bullish indicators in January, with all groups hitting 64.2 and 63.3, respectively.

Traders and distributors were more bullish on expected steel production, posting 70 and 66.7, respectively. In contrast, traders and distributors were less bullish on expected raw material price changes, recording a 60 and 64.4, respectively.