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9th August 2018

UK STEEL PRICES RISE ON THE BACK OF EUROPEAN DEMAND AND US IMPORT TARIFFS

The recent tariffs imposed on imported steel by the US followed by subsequent retaliatory safeguarding measures of the European Commission has led to heightened levels of uncertainty around the security and supply of steel from producers outside of the European Union. With the strong demand being created by the major European economies, there has been a shift in the supply chain as local stockholders, service centres and end users all start sourcing product from European mills; with the aim to reduce the risk of supply shortages. The mills increased order book has in turn prompted a number of major producers to close their books for new orders for September delivery. This combined with the annual August shut down is forecast to cause shortages, especially in heavy sections over the coming months. Closer to home the effect of activity in Europe will be compounded as product previously destined for the UK is being utilised to fulfil the European demand. British Steel have announced their second £30 per tonne increase in just two months as European mill prices escalate, stock availability decreases and lead times lengthen. Given the current circumstances, we recommend reviewing any current project commitments and taking a cautious approach in quoting for new work as price and availability change at an increasing pace. If you have any questions or concerns regarding this announcement please do not hesitate to contact me, or any member of the account management team.

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