Global demand for high-strength steel was good in most markets, but demand in Europe slowed and demand in China was hit by closures (related to lockdowns), among other things.
Demand for standard steel in Europe continued to be affected by caution and the recovery after the holiday season was weaker than normal. Inventory levels at distributors, among others, are assessed to be somewhat high. Import volumes into Europe were relatively high during the third quarter. In North America, demand for heavy plate was good in most customer segments. Inventory levels at North American distributors were still low.
European market prices for steel contracted during the third quarter compared with the prior quarter. The decline was somewhat more pronounced in heavy plate than in strip. The price of heavy plate in North America contracted during the third quarter, from a high level. In China, market prices for strip and heavy plate decreased during the third quarter of 2022.
The market outlook is uncertain against a background of rising inflation, a shortage of components and the risks of continued fallout from the war in Ukraine. The market in Europe is expected to be weak during the fourth quarter and there is a risk of low activity in the last few weeks of the year. The heavy plate market in North America is assessed to be relatively stable.
Compared with the third quarter of 2022, SSAB Special Steels shipments are assessed to be somewhat lower, primarily because of the planned maintenance outage in Oxelösund. Realized prices are also expected to be somewhat lower.
SSAB Europe's shipments are assessed to be stable, albeit at a low level, against a background of a cautious market and planned maintenance outages. Realized prices are expected to be significantly lower during the fourth quarter compared to those seen in the prior quarter.
SSAB Americas’ shipments are assessed to be higher since the prior quarter was affected by a planned maintenance outage. Prices are expected to be somewhat lower.
Raw material costs in the fourth quarter are largely expected to be relatively stable compared to the prior quarter.
|Q4 2022 vs. Q3 2022|
|SSAB Special Steel||Somewhat lower||Somewhat lower|
|SSAB Americas||Higher||Somewhat lower|