For the Quarter Ending June 2023
In the North American market, Grey Cast Iron prices remained stable in the third quarter of 2023. Despite concerns about the financial market, demand from downstream industries continued to drive the market. However, worries about the health of the US banking industry led to a decline in regional bank stocks and other major financial stocks. These concerns were further intensified when the third bank in the United States collapsed, leading to increased concerns about risky assets. On a positive note, US manufacturing output showed encouraging momentum at the beginning of the second quarter, and there was a marginal increase in new order inflows in May. However, customer hesitancy in placing orders due to higher prices and global economic uncertainty affected the downstream sectors, such as the automotive parts and component industry, which showed a declining trend in the ending Q2. The lower availability of feedstock, such as iron ore and other raw materials, in the US spot market, along with weak demand, resulted in a higher inventory of Grey Cast Iron. The uncertain economic stability in the US during the second quarter, amid the debt crisis, caused buyers to delay placing large orders.
In the Asian market, Grey Cast Iron prices remained stagnant in the third quarter of 2023 due to a stable supply-demand outlook despite disruptions in the financial market. The consistent demand from downstream casting industries contributed to a slight increase in prices. However, as real estate projects approached completion, the demand for Grey Cast Iron decreased, leading to losses for steel mills instead of profits. Factors such as abundant supply, lower-than-expected demand, and weakened cost support contributed to the sustained decline in Grey Cast Iron prices during the first half of Q2. Growing concerns about potential interest rate hikes in the United States also had an impact on steel prices compared to raw material prices. The inventory level of feedstock, specifically iron ore, was higher at the end of the second quarter due to increased extraction from Australian mines. Overseas mines from Australia offered iron ore at a cheaper price in the spot market, reducing the cost support for Chinese Grey Cast Iron manufacturing. The uncertain economic conditions led to a decline in demand for Grey Cast Iron from the downstream automobile industry.
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In the European market, Grey Cast Iron prices remained stable in the second quarter of 2023, driven by steady demand from the automotive and construction sectors. Some Northwest European steelmakers re-entered the market with offers in early Q2, but buyers had already replaced domestic coil with imports by the time more mills returned with offers in June. Competitive import offers and the significant price difference between domestic and overseas coil prices put further downward pressure on European prices. Buyers in the automotive and appliance sectors faced delivery delays, impacting their operations. The German Grey Cast Iron market experienced a decline in prices in May due to a lack of downstream demand from the automobile and construction industries. Buyers delayed placing large orders as the monsoon season approached, increasing the risk of corrosion. The ongoing labor crisis and rising energy costs also affected the Grey Cast Iron manufacturing process, leading to a decline in prices. The Grey Cast Iron plate prices for Ex Konigsbronn (Germany) settled at USD 2350/MT.
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