Steel price development 2023 – The prices have slightly decreased in August

In this article, you will find a comprehensive analysis of current steel prices and forecasts for steel price trends. The article is primarily aimed at steel construction companies and individuals involved in structural steel procurement. The content is regularly updated and addresses the relevant factors influencing the pricing of steel and stainless steel.

The Current Steel Price per Metric Ton (August 2023)

First, let’s take an overview of the current steel price. Steel prices are subject to significant fluctuations due to supply and demand dynamics, as well as external factors. In recent years, the COVID-19 pandemic and the conflict in Ukraine have played a crucial role in shaping the steel market.

Current trends are best observed through the performance of commodity prices on the raw materials exchanges, where hot-rolled coil steel, in particular, is traded.

What is the current trend in steel prices?

After reaching record lows at the end of last year, steel prices saw a modest increase at the beginning of the year, reaching approximately €900 per metric ton in April. However, a reversal occurred in early May, leading to a decline in prices.

Currently, one metric ton (1,000 kg) of hot-rolled coil steel is priced at approximately €650 (previous month: €700, price for short-term contracts for hot-rolled coil steel on the LME commodity exchange). Prices in North America have also decreased and are now around $760 USD per metric ton. In China, prices remain stable at approximately $550 USD per metric ton.”

Andreas Janisch

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The indicators on the commodity exchanges primarily apply to hot-rolled sheets used in the automotive industry.

For steel beams or steel profiles, there are no such exchange listings. However, prices for these products often correlate strongly with the trends in steel prices. There are also various indices for steel beams, sheets, and steel profiles, but they are typically published retrospectively. This steel price index is particularly relevant in the construction industry for variable pricing. However, for many applications, this index is considered too slow.

Hot rolled Steel prices per ton

Chart of prices for 1-month contracts in USD per ton for steel on the LME commodity exchange until August 2023. Source: LME.com

Prices for steel beams and plates

Heavy steel beams and plates currently (August 2023) cost about 800 – 1,100€ per ton (1,000 kg). Thinner hollow section profiles and sheets cost slightly more. These prices refer to large purchase quantities and do not include transportation. The wide price range results from the different sources of supply of our suppliers from various countries.

In Germany, a ton of steel currently costs approx. 1.000€ or 1€ per kg.

Current prices for steel construction

Steel prices are a significant factor in the pricing of steel structures. Currently, steel prices are moving counter to general inflation trends, which has somewhat reduced their impact, with labor costs coming back into focus.

From low-wage countries like Turkey, heavy steel structures can currently be sourced for as low as €1.85 per kilogram. In the CEE region, prices are on average approximately 25% higher.

Steel price forecast for 2023

The conflict in Ukraine has shaken the commodity markets. In addition, short-term speculation with rising raw material prices further fueled demand and motivated many steel processors to fill their inventories. However, the peak prices seen during the COVID-19 pandemic, reaching around €2,000 per metric ton (1,000 kg), were not surpassed. It seems that the market is not willing to accept higher prices. Subsequently, a reversal occurred, and prices normalized with ‘typical’ fluctuations.

Considering the general inflation, steel prices are currently relatively low. A further decline in steel prices is only expected in the event of a severe economic downturn, with the lower limit likely around €500 per metric ton. At the moment, high energy and raw material costs are not leaving much room for producers, but there is certainly pressure from international markets.

The current situation in Ukraine, especially its impact on the energy market, remains the determining factor for producer prices and continues to cause volatility and market overreactions. Therefore, making a forecast for steel price trends in 2023 is extremely challenging.

Stainless steel price development 2023

The price development of stainless steel depends largely on the prices of the alloying elements chromium and nickel. The most commonly used stainless steel grade 1.4301 (also often referred to as V2A or AISI 304) contains approx. 18% chromium and approx. 9% nickel. At currently around €20,000 per ton (1,000kg), nickel is more than ten times as expensive as steel and therefore has at least the same impact in weighted terms. The price of chromium is around €3,000 per ton.

After the start of the Ukraine conflict in March 2022, there was a jump in nickel prices. This price increase was caused by speculation and got the London commodity exchange LME into trouble. In the meantime, the nickel price has stabilized again.

Current prices for stainless steel sheet and profiles

1.4301 (AISI 304, V2A) – from 2,59 €/kg
1.4401 (AISI 316, V4A) – from 3,99 €/kg
1.4541 (AISI 321, V4A) – from 3,39 €/kg

We have partnered with an importer of stainless steel, allowing us to offer you attractive terms for stocked sheets, profiles, or pipes. We regularly have special offers available at competitive rates.

Send us your inquiry!

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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) about steel prices

Where can I find information about the current steel prices?

Besides the summary on this page, you can find current steel prices for various steel types, especially on the London Metal Exchange (LME).

Zuletzt überarbeitet am 7. September 2023 von Andreas Janisch

What Factors Influence Steel Prices?

The determination of steel prices is complex. Factors influencing prices include energy and raw material costs, as well as supply and demand dynamics. Steel production requires some lead time as blast furnaces and production processes need to be started and stopped, which takes time and precise planning. Consequently, the market cannot always react quickly to new situations, potentially leading to oversupply or scarcity, which can in turn fuel speculation. During times of supply shortages, many companies attempt to stock up on steel, further driving prices upward.

Zuletzt überarbeitet am 7. September 2023 von Andreas Janisch

Are There (Credible) Forecasts for Future Steel Prices?

Forecasts for steel prices are very challenging because unforeseeable events frequently occur, causing steel prices to react sensitively. Recent examples include the COVID-19 pandemic and the conflict in Ukraine. A reliable forecast is, therefore, not possible. An indicator of price trends is provided by futures contracts traded on the commodity exchange.

Zuletzt überarbeitet am 7. September 2023 von Andreas Janisch

How to Compare Different Sources of Steel Prices?

Commodity exchanges provide sources for the prices of various steel types, such as hot-rolled coil steel or reinforcing steel. However, there are no exchange listings for most semi-finished products like beams or sheets. Nevertheless, prices tend to correlate, allowing conclusions to be drawn about prices through a combination of historical data and exchange rates for other steel types. It’s essential, though, to compare steel types with a similar composition. For stainless steel, for instance, the nickel content is much more critical for price determination than the iron content.

Zuletzt überarbeitet am 7. September 2023 von Andreas Janisch

Why Do Steel Prices Vary in Different Regions?

Steel prices are generally relatively homogeneous within regions. However, disparities in supply and demand, as well as differences in energy and labor costs, can create variations. If the differences are significant, they are often compensated for through export trade. In a stable market, differences are primarily limited to transportation costs, tariffs, and other trade restrictions.

Zuletzt überarbeitet am 7. September 2023 von Andreas Janisch

What Impact Do Steel Prices Have on the Industry?

For many industrial companies, steel is one of the most critical production factors. The steel price directly influences the cost of their products, affecting their competitive position compared to substitute goods. A company that builds steel halls, for example, has an advantage when steel prices are low compared to a company that constructs wooden halls. Steel prices also influence the costs of capital goods such as machinery or warehouses.

Zuletzt überarbeitet am 7. September 2023 von Andreas Janisch

Where Can I Find Historical Steel Price Data?

Historical steel price data can be found in the steel price index. Unlike current steel prices, this index is available for a wide range of product groups.

Zuletzt überarbeitet am 7. September 2023 von Andreas Janisch

Current manufacturing capacity

The production capacity of our suppliers for steel construction is continuously growing. Currently, there is a healthy balance between supply and demand. However, the pressure on suppliers is increasing and many are making aggressive prices to utilize manufacturing capacity.
For simple projects such as structural steel for halls or platforms, delivery times are currently 4-8 weeks.

Our suppliers currently still have free capacities! Send us your inquiry!

Zuletzt überarbeitet am 7. September 2023 von Andreas Janisch