MEPS is a bit heavy on large numbers that are hard for the average person to make sense of, so I’ve taken them out in most places. And the MEPS report is more detailed, listing region by region expectations. I kept in the North American stuff and skipped the rest. You can read the entire synopsys by following the clickable link above and, by clicking a link there, the entire survey from which the synopsys was created.
But the short version is, steel production is up, steel demand is up, imports are not hitting the North American and EU markets for some reason, so prices are likely to stay firm (their way of saying prices will stay elevated) for the rest of 2006.
MEPS estimate for world crude steel output [is] an increase of 4.1 percent over the 2005 outturn. Blastfurnace iron production is predicted to [be] 5.4 percent up on the figure recorded in the previous twelve months. Only modest gains are expected for direct reduced ironmaking.
The majority of the steel output improvement will take place in China and India. In these countries the blast furnace/oxygen steelmaking process is dominant. […] The high cost of energy is restricting the rise in direct reduction of iron in several countries.
[…] Chinese mills will be responsible for almost 80 percent of the total, despite the anticipated slowdown in the rate of growth in steelmaking in the country in 2006, compared to recent years.
North American crude steel output is expected to increase by almost […] 2 percent this year in comparison to 2005. Most of the improvement is expected to occur from the integrated producers.