Steel prices in the United States have reached a ten-year high. The MEPS North American Average Flat Products selling figure increased by 34 percent since the start of the year. Clearly the domestic mill price increases are eroding the impact of 25 percent tariffs on imports of steel into the United States.
According to Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross some market participants could be “illegitimately profiteering” from new tariffs. Others argue that the price appreciation up to this point is not due to “speculative activity,” with some market intermediaries holding back inventories, but that it's been demand driven.
In the European Union, the purchasing activity slowed down in June, causing prices to slip. The moderate downward movements of prices, says MEPS, are both due to political changes in parts of the region and to uncertainty regarding the US Section 232 interruption. Where possible, buyers are postponing their purchasing decisions.
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