Celsa foresees deterioration, record Chinese exports in 2024

2023 was tough on steel producers, but 2024 will be even tougher, Celsa Group export director Alexander Gordienko said at the Irepas conference in Berlin on Monday, attended by Kallanish.

Noting that he does not expect demand to recover until 2025, Gordienko sees Chinese steel exports in 2024 reaching the record levels of 2015.

The Chinese government has started investigating possible fraud in non-VAT exports, Gordienko says, which he expects to slow exports only temporarily. He thinks China will find a way to continue shipping abroad, as exports are the major source of Chinese growth given its weak domestic market and struggling real estate sector.

Prices have trended mostly stable recently despite volatile raw material values and demand, Gordienko pointed out, as capacity utilisation rates are low. European GDP growth is expected to rebound from very low levels. Large European economies are underperforming while Greece and Spain are performing better than expected, Gordienko said.

Emerging markets are performing better, benefiting from the tensions between the US and China, Gordienko observed.

Global long steel consumption recorded a 5.3% decline in 2023, while Gordienko expects 2024 consumption to see a further 0.5% decline, which would mean another 12 million tonnes lost on-year. Wire rod consumption, which saw the steepest decline in 2023, is expected to fall by 8mt in 2024.

Meanwhile, Ulrich Leuchtmann from Commerzbank advised steel producers to be cautious with their investments amid low demand and a high inflation rate environment.

Burcak Alpman Turkey