This week is going to be a very important for global financial markets, companies and business owners, as a slew of important economic data are due for release. Last week, global equity markets rose on some positive news on earnings front from US based companies, while commodities such as copper and nickel remained largely unchanged.
On one side equity markets have reported gains last week, but range bound movement in base metal, copper indicates that a much expected slowdown could be underway. Important economic releases from the US, Europe and China, this week could show that there is less demand and that growth is slowing down across major economies. This could trigger a further correction of 4 to 6% in base metals such as nickel and copper, resulting in lower offer prices for stainless steel products by major manufacturers in China and India.
With a high unemployment rate, record low auto sales and weak economic conditions, there are expectations that the ECB would cut interest rates by a quarter percentage point in its next meeting. On the other hand emerging economies such as China and India also showed signs of slowdown with leading economic indicators missing market expectations last month.
Since, there was no major movement in nickel and ferro chrome prices last week, prices for stainless steel products such as stainless steel seamless pipes, stainless steel pipe fittings, sheets, plates remained largely unchanged.
The Bureau of International Recycling reported decreases in the usage of ferrous scrap in steelmaking in 2012 compared with 2011. China's use of steel scrap declined by 12.3% to 79.8 million metric ton in 2012, as compared to 2011, while Russia and Italy reported a 4.4% decline and 5.8% decline year on year decline respectively. The Metal Bulletin Daily Scrap Index for HMS 1 & 2 (80:20) imports into Turkey stood at USD 366.86 per metric ton on April 29th, down by USD 1.81 per ton on Friday last week. Buyers are increasingly looking for discounts on every major booking for stainless steel scrap, HMS scrap and finished steel products, as the trend ahead is expected to be a declining one.