As we enter Q2 of 2024, we look back at Q1 2024 and dive into what could cause a sudden change in steel prices—with possible issues of supply chains, steel demand and workforce shortages on the horizon.

 

Review of Steel Prices in Q1 2024

During the first quarter of 2024, mild and stainless steel prices experienced ups and downs. February saw the highest costs for the quarter, but by March, prices had levelled off, staying around the same as January, if not slightly lower. Consequently, the average steel prices for Q1 2024 in the UK remained relatively steady.

Industry sources suggest that the factors contributing to this downturn are complex, implying that any potential turnaround may be delayed. Factors such as lack of demand and workforce shortages could be contributing to lower pricing for steel.

 

Potential For a Reversal Of Trends

The steel industry post-pandemic has had a difficult time balancing several elements that affect pricing trends. In the last few months, factors such as low demand for steel and post-pandemic recovery aid have produced a downward trend for steel pricing; but other factors could influence a sudden price rise.

Geopolitical issues continue to impact the supply chain and cause disruptions and delays, which could increase prices for steel. Escalating tensions in the Middle East, notably between Iran and Israel, has historically been a key factor driving volatility in commodities, including on steel markets.

Other issues such as the partial closure of Port Talbot and the interest rates rise could have contributed to increasing costs. These challenges have the potential to change the downward trend of steel prices back up.

Currently, lowered demand continues as buyers are cautiously holding out for the most favourable pricing opportunities. Nevertheless, with a foreseeable uptick in demand on the horizon—particularly driven by sustained interest from steel-hungry markets like China and India—demand could suddenly increase and drive prices up.

In essence, while recent trends hinted at a potential easing in steel pricing, geopolitical tensions, supply chain constraints, and labour market uncertainties all contribute to the unpredictable nature of steel prices and could contribute to a rise in costs.

 

Steel Prices Predictions For Q2 2024

We anticipate that steel prices will remain consistent throughout Q2 2024.

Industries relying on steel are expected to slow down further, largely due to ongoing declines in construction, including workforce shortages in the industry. This prolonged downturn is likely to dampen demand for sheet metal and other steel products, contributing to the overall sluggishness of the steel market. However, a gradual recovery could be anticipated afterwards, though we expect it will be moderate.

Despite the trends we observed in Q1, it’s worth bearing in mind that factors such as geopolitical shifts, unexpected jumps in demand from certain sectors, or significant supply disruptions could be unpredictable to the steel market, leading to a potential for prices to rise.

Overall, based on Q1 2024’s trends, we predict that steel prices in the UK will fall slightly or remain still in Q2 2024. However, it’s important to remember that just like any other commodities in the market, steel prices are difficult to predict and this could change very quickly.

 

Optimise Your Steel Sourcing Strategy with ADS Laser Cutting

At ADS Laser Cutting, we understand the importance of securing the best price for your steel supply. As you deal with the complexities of the steel market, you can trust us to provide you with the insights, expertise, and solutions you need to optimise your supply chain strategy.

Contact us today to learn how we can help you with your next manufacturing project.

 

ADS Laser Cutting is the Premier Metal Laser Cutting, Folding, Fabrication, Finishing and Assembly in the UK. Providing Bespoke to Volume Solutions.

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