Market News

Over the past year, there is a drastic lack of metal steel sheets in the market caused by global factory closures and lack of iron ore and steel exports as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. International demand to restart economies whilst production capacity is limited has spiked steel prices to record highs. According to the London Metal Exchange (LME) steel price charts as follows, steel prices have more than doubled in China and USA from June 2020 to date. China Steel rates were around US$527 per ton in November 2020, and skyrocketed to US$950 per ton on 5th May 2021. Notwithstanding the above increments in steel sheet prices, international shipment and labour resources also faced tremendous upheaval across 2020 and 2021.

In view of the recent instability in the market, FME has curated information to keep customers updated of steel price fluctuations. We urge our customers to actively plan their material requisition needs ahead and take note minimum production lead time for new cable support systems as at May 2021 is around 4 – 6 working weeks subject to metal sheet and component availability. Contact FME to find out more!

Straits Times: Property prices, delays on the rise amid construction headwinds – Aug 23, 2021
The construction sector is under unprecedented stress due to rising material costs, significant workforce shortages, and skyrocketing pay expenses.

Straits Times: Challenges for sector could last for rest of year, survey finds – Aug 23, 2021
Despite assistance from the government, trade groups, and banks, the construction sector is likely to face labour shortages for the remainder of the year.

Straits Times: New measures to retain, hire work permit holders in construction, marine shipyard and process sectors – Aug 13, 2021
Construction, maritime shipyards, and the process industries, which have been hit by Covid-19 personnel shortages, have received a boost to assist them keep their workers and allow the influx of new workers.

Being well-equipped and empowered to meet the demands and challenges of our dynamic economy is the key to staying relevant to the workforce today. FME provides opportunities to transform the career prospects of those who constantly upskill and re-skill to stay relevant!

Metal Bulletin: South America’s flat steel import market shook by change in Chinese tax rebates – Jul 30, 2021
A large portion of deals closed for September shipment had the condition that buyers would pay for costs of an eventual change in the tax rebate regime.

Metal Bulletin: China to cancel more steel export rebates from Aug 1 – Jul 29, 2021
China will cancel more rebates of value-added tax for some steel exports from August 1, its Ministry of Finance said on Thursday July 29.

SCMP: China raises steel export tariffs again in bid to boost carbon neutral goal – Jul 29, 2021
The changes aim to promote upgrade and high-quality development of the steel industry, but steel demand and prices are still well supported by the global economic recovery, making it harder to keep to the promise of no rise in annual crude steel production in 2021.

Metal Bulletin: Looming China tax change freezes flat steel export trades – Jul 27, 2021
Many Chinese steel mills are not giving offers, or are just listing high offers with no real intention of selling

Straits Times: S’pore’s construction sector faces manpower, materials roadblocks with future uncertain – Jul 17, 2021
While Singapore has contained the Covid-19 epidemic in worker dormitories and is increasingly opening up, the nations that supply manpower and materials to the construction sector have not, according to several contractors.

PR News Wire: China Makes Policy Changes to Curtail Crude Steel Production: Beroe Inc. – Jun 22, 2021
China has proposed certain regulatory reforms that might reshape the country’s steel landscape in an effort to cut steel output and address environmental issues.

Strategyr: Steel Global Market Trajectory & Analytics – Jun, 2021
This is a Steel – Market Study Report by Global Industry Analysts, Inc. It’s key emphasis is on the prediction that the Global Steel Market will reach 2.2 Billion Metric Tons by 2026. It also forecasts the Steel Market in the U.S. and China, the two key market players.

SCMP: China’s factories decry surge in raw material prices as they cut production and say 2021 may be worse than 2020 – May 25, 2021
Manufacturers in the ‘world’s factory’ say it is too risky to take new orders, whilst supply lines have shifted back to China, crucial raw materials such as metals are becoming too expensive to turn a profit

SCMP: China’s steel prices spike on record raw material costs, raising inflation fears – May 10, 2021
Over 100 steelmakers in China increased prices due to government efforts to scale back capacity. The spike in prices could threaten a range of downstream industries, as steel is a key material used in construction, home appliances, cars and machinery.

Reuters: China iron ore, steel prices hit record as supply worries prompt speculative buying – May 10, 2021
While some steel mills have stopped buying materials at such high prices, traders are sweeping goods at spot market due to limited supplies available.

Platts Analytics: Fundamentals support strong iron ore prices in 2021 – May 4, 2021
Platts China Steel Trade Tracker shows the market expects steel prices to continue rising, supported by falling steel inventories and robust orders.

SCMP: China’s small manufacturers endure ‘difficult time’ as surging raw material prices drive up costs – May 4, 2021
Demand for raw materials has surged in China as the economy has recovered from the pandemic, but that has increased costs for downstream manufacturers as “every supplier was raising prices”.

The Star: Rise in steel prices set to continue – Apr 30, 2021
International uptrend in steel prices may be sustained right into the third quarter of 2021 due to extended lead times due to logistics disruptions and capacity resumptions, historically low inventories and higher demand from automobile markets in the United States and Europe. Buyers are purchasing more cautiously purchasing due to the current international high price and uncertainties in the supply and economic recovery.

EdgeProp: Rising steel prices hurting building sector – Apr 29, 2021
Master Builders Association Malaysia (MBAM) propose for the Government to reintroduce the Variation of Price (VOP) Clause for essential building materials to cover the risk of inflation changes as contractors increasingly face operational difficulties from unstoppable rising costs.

Bloombergquint: India Steelmakers Seen Gaining As China Signals More Imports; Tata Steel, JSW Steel Shares Rally – Apr 29, 2021
Market has largely priced in the increase preliminarily announced since February but the cut in rebates is larger than expected. Steel continues to be in short supply in the short term given restrictions on China production and exports.

Platts Analytics: China removes VAT rebate on steel exports, cuts tax on raw material imports to zero – Apr 28, 2021
China has announced the removal of VAT rebates on exports of 146 steel products from May 1, a move the market had been widely anticipating since February. The rebate for cold rolled coil and hot-dip galvanized coil was not removed, likely because they were deemed higher value-added products, although market participants said they could be reduced in a subsequent announcement.

Platts Analytics: US steel prices higher for longer – Apr 28, 2021
Long domestic mill delivery lead times as physical market participants looked to hedge for imports to help fill the void in US demand. Import lead times have also increased. Cable support prices are expected to remain high.

Financial Express: Steel industry hoping for steady growth in 2021 – Apr 24, 2021
Developed countries, where steel consumption was set to reach a near plateau level, would together demand 8.2% more steel in 2021, while emerging economies excluding China is likely to clock a growth of 10.2% in steel demand. All other major steel producing countries have been projected to consume more steel in 2021. Construction, automobile, consumer technology and logistics infrastructure are key sectors supporting high demand.

Reuters Column: Iron ore and China steel output aren’t sticking to the script – Apr 22, 2021
Iron ore miners have been unable to ramp up production to meet demand from China, policymakers have yet to decide to curb steel production in order to limit pollution and accept a small hit to economic growth, or allow steel output to rise to meet the needs of robust economic growth.

Steelnews: Jobs at risk: Terrible stainless steel shortage 2021 continues – Apr 16, 2021
Aided by the Corona pandemic, serious structural problems in the global production, supply and distribution of steel and stainless steel have been evident since November 2020. Jobs have been delayed and many hardly know if urgently needed steel or stainless steel is still available at all!

Reuters: China steel prices retreat from record peaks, drag iron ore lower – Apr 8, 2021
Whilst there are some price drops, analysts said moves to rein in steel output in China – the world’s top producer and exporter of the construction and manufacturing material – should keep any pullback in prices in check. Robust domestic demand fuelled a rally in steel prices recently, along with concerns over output curbs as China rolls out new policies focusing on tighter environmental control that limits production capacities of mills.

How China’s Surge of Iron Ore Imports Seems to be Impacting Global Steel Production – Apr 01, 2021
China implemented economic restrictions in the first quarter of 2020 to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, causing global iron ore prices to plummet at the time. However, since reopening, China’s economy has rebounded substantially, producing a huge shift in demand for steel output and a record-breaking August for iron imports.

Metal Bulletin FOCUS: Key effects of China’s latest industrial crackdown in Tangshan on steel sector – Mar 3, 2021
A crackdown on industrial activity in Tangshan, China’s steelmaking hub has caused increased steel prices due to tightened supply amidst continued demand. Steel production cuts and falling steel inventories will most likely push up prices for various steel products.

Hellenic shipping news: Steel traders alert for China steel export rebate cuts – Feb 26, 2021
Chinese steel associations proposed that in order to supplement domestic steel supply, rebates should be cut or removed as a means to limit steel exports amidst soaring global export sales. This might cause higher steel prices.

Steel News: Crazy steel shortage 2021: Where to get stainless steel now?– Feb 24, 2021
Demand has spiked way above demand and production has not been able to catch up.

Reuters: U.S. manufacturers grapple with steel shortages, soaring prices – Feb 23, 2021
USA domestic steel production is insufficient, analysts expect imports to pick up by June in USA but companies are delaying a ramp-up in production and a build-up in inventories to minimize overstock of high-price stock.

Straits Times: Singapore construction demand for 2021 expected to rise up to $28b – Jan 18, 2021
As the built environment industry recovers from the effects of the Covid-19 epidemic, construction contracts are projected to increase to between $23 billion and $28 billion this year, according to National Development Minister Desmond Lee (Jan 18).

Financial Express: Steel prices may rise again this month – Dec 4, 2020
Hot-rolled coil (HRC) prices have strengthened in the international market by nearly 18% in the last two months leading to a significant rise in the Indian steel prices. Already at a 12-year high, prices of the benchmark steel product is expected to increase further on the back of rising domestic demand and iron ore prices, higher international prices, subdued production and limited imports, analysts said.