Market situation and outlook

The market

According to the World Steel Association, global crude steel production for the first two months of 2021 amounted to 315 (295) million tonnes, up 6.6% compared to the same period in 2020. Chinese steel production increased by just under 13%. Steel production decreased in North America by 7% and in the EU-27 by 4%.

According to the World Steel Association, global crude steel production for the first two months of 2021 amounted to 315 (295) million tonnes, up 6.6% compared to the same period in 2020. Chinese steel production increased by just under 13%. Steel production decreased in North America by 7% and in the EU-27 by 4%.

In Europe, demand was strong during the first quarter. Despite most European steel mills having restarted production that had been idled during parts of 2020, there is a shortage of steel. Imports into Europe were at a relatively low level during the quarter.

In Europe, demand was strong during the first quarter. Despite most European steel mills having restarted production that had been idled during parts of 2020, there is a shortage of steel. Imports into Europe were at a relatively low level during the quarter.

In North America, market prices for heavy plate increased sharply during the first quarter. In Europe, market prices for strip rose sharply during the first quarter. Prices for heavy plate were also up, albeit to a lesser extent. In China, prices for strip and heavy plate rose during the first quarter.

Market outlook

Outlook

Demand for steel during the second quarter of 2021 is estimated to be very strong, driven both by underlying demand and by customer restocking. Global demand for high-strength steel is also estimated to be very strong during the second quarter in almost all markets in all geographies.

Special Steels’ shipments are expected to be at a high level during the second quarter of 2021, albeit somewhat lower than the record high shipments reported in the first quarter. SSAB Europe’s and SSAB Americas’ shipments are expected to be somewhat higher in the second quarter than in the first quarter of 2021.

Prices realized by SSAB Americas and SSAB Europe are expected to be significantly higher on average compared with the first quarter of 2021. For SSAB Special Steels, prices are expected to be somewhat higher in the second quarter of 2021 compared to the first quarter. The higher prices will be partly counteracted by higher raw material costs, primarily of iron ore, in the second quarter of 2021.


Outlook for steel divisions

Q2 2021 vs. Q1 2021
Shipments Realized prices
SSAB Special Steel Somewhat lower Somewhat higher
SSAB Europe Somewhat higher Significantly higher
SSAB Americas Somewhat higher Significantly higher

Definitions: Significantly lower (>10%), Lower (5-10%), Somewhat lower (0-5%), Stable (~0%) Somewhat higher (0-5%), Higher (5-10%), Significantly higher (>10%)