Carmakers, one of the steel industry’s biggest consumers, have posted strong November sales.
US auto sales from General Motors, Ford, and Fiat Chrysler report sales on a quarterly basis. However, Japanese carmakers Honda and Toyota have posted strong November sales in the US automotive sector. The latest data confirms an increase of 11.1pc for Honda’s U.S sales during the month compared to the same time last year, and an increase of 21.3pc for Honda’s truck sales for the same period.
Toyota increased the volume of its cars sold in the US market by 9.2pc in November compared to the same time last year, and by 5pc on a daily selling rate basis. Hyundai reported a 6pc sales increase for November. However, sales at Nissan 15.9 pc compared to the same time last year.
New-vehicle retail sales in November increased 1.2pc, on a selling day adjusted basis according to a forecast released by LMC Automotive and J.D. Power. However, these sale increases might not translate to additional demand for steel.
Manufacturing is indicating new potential, after a decline in 2019 that was likely exacerbated by media, politics, and uncertainty. Finished steel demand for 2019 is projected at 142.6mn mt, an increase of 0.8pc over the original projection of 141.5mn mt according to the World Steel Association’s outlook for 2020.
Key sectors using steel such as the automotive industry are likely to need less of the material amid market slowdown. The steel market in the US will not see much improvement this year and political uncertainty will have an impact going into next year. Mills project market growth difficulties will persist and view a lack of clarity for next year’s market, though long-term projection outlooks of domestic steel demand remain positive.