Steel price forecast for 2021: Steel prices remain elevated, supply chain disruptions delay price declines to the second half of 2021
Sheet prices continue to strengthen however the pace of the increases has started to decelerate. Extremely cold weather disrupted the collection of scrap and delivery of ore and scrap in Europe and North America over the first quarter, tightening supply and boosting raw material prices. Increases in input costs have added approximately $200–250 per ton to steelmaking costs. Aside from sheet, price increases in Mainland China and Europe have largely mirrored the rise in input costs, while US prices have increased more.
At the same time, Mainland China has also started enforcing emissions restrictions in key northern steel-producing provinces, further tightening global steel supply and unintentionally stoking psychological momentum. As the weather improves, these pollution controls will ease but will not be completely lifted. Prices will fall later in the second quarter and decline noticeably in the third and fourth quarters. The risk depends on the extent that restrictions on steel production are retained or relaxed.
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