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Finnish steel buyers fear shortage, higher prices

06 Oct 2017, 02:56 ( 06 Oct, 2017)

DF-Xinhua Report
File Photo Lapland Material Bank by Terhi Tuovinen.

Finnish industries fear a shortage of steel and higher prices may occur as a result of the possible EU actions on imports from China and some other countries, local media reported on Thursday.

Finnish language business daily Kauppalehti quoted buyers of steel as saying the price level for the end users has risen drastically and there have been problems in availability.

Unnamed Finnish steel buyers told Kauppalehti the companies that need steel "pay the highest price for the protection of European steel industry" as they are at the end of the chain.

They said a shortage is intolerable in the situation when factories using steel are working at full capacity. The EU should choose a middle-of-the road line in its penalty tariffs, they said.

Kauppalehti analyst Ilkka Sinerva reported that the increased tariffs targeting the imports of hot rolled coil steel have caused price increases in the whole production chain.

Forty percent of hot rolled coil used in the EU area is being imported from outside the EU and the European Economic Area (ETA). Also the price of rebar steel, used in concrete construction industry, has increased.

A business director of SSAB, the largest steel producer in the Nordic area, declined to comment the price levels. He said SSAB's plants in Raahe and Haamenlinna in Finland are working at full capacity.

Wholesale sources told Kauppalehti that the delivery time of some qualities has risen from the 8-to-10 weeks to 12-to-14 weeks.

Topi Paanen, CEO of Peikko Group, a leading Finnish user of steel in construction elements, complained to Kauppalehti that the EU steel producers failed to provide enough products.

European industries warned of upcoming shortages already this past summer. As a result, the EU commission decided to delay new penalty duties, but a new round of penalties is a pending issue that concerns the end users.