Market situation and outlook

The market during the fourth quarter 2023

Demand for high-strength steel slowed somewhat during the fall, especially in Europe and the market was somewhat cautious during the fourth quarter.

Demand for standard steel in Europe was weak during the fourth quarter and import volumes into Europe were down. European steelmakers decreased production through maintenance outages, among other means.

Market prices for strip in Europe improved during the fourth quarter, albeit from a low level. Heavy plate prices were relatively stable. Inventory levels in the market are estimated to be normal or somewhat low.

In North America, demand for heavy plate was somewhat lower and market prices fell during the first part of the quarter and then stabilized. Inventory levels at North American distributors were still low.

Market prices in China for strip and heavy plate rose during the fourth quarter.


Outlook for the first quarter of 2024

Compared with the fourth quarter of 2023, SSAB Special Steels’ shipments are assessed to be significantly higher during the first quarter of 2024, whereas prices are expected to be somewhat lower.

SSAB Europe's shipments are assessed to be higher and prices to be somewhat lower during the first quarter of 2024 compared to the fourth quarter of 2023.

SSAB Americas' shipments are assessed to be higher and prices somewhat lower.

The costs of raw materials are expected to be somewhat higher.




Outlook for steel divisions

Q1 2024 vs. Q4 2023
Shipments Realized prices
SSAB Special Steel Significantly higher Somewhat lower
SSAB Europe Higher Somewhat lower
SSAB Americas Higher Somewhat lower

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