Global slag export volumes remained depressed in the second quarter of 2020, with trade volumes decreasing by more than 18 percent quarter-on-quarter and CW price index average global prices following the same trend, contracting slightly by about 1 percent in the period, compared to the previous quarter, according to the 3Q2020 update of CW Research's Global Cement Trade Price Report.
In the third quarter of the year, median slag prices are estimated to fall by more than 5 percent when compared to 2Q2020.
“3Q was marked by a slow recovery from the sharp economic contractions witnessed across major economies in 2Q leading to reduced demand for slag and a resultant decline in prices. However, the Asia-Pacific-Japan region, which remains the world’s largest exporter, is likely to see strengthening in 4Q as a result of an increase in Chinese prices, while Japanese prices are expected to remain largely stable with a slight downward bias”, assessed Juliana Vieira, Business Analyst at CW Group.
Asia-Pacific-Japan area remains the world’s leading slag exporting region
Japan retained the lead for slag exports in the second quarter of 2020, but witnessed a decline in volume, which affected the commodity export volumes globally. The country's exports stood at about 2 million tons, at an average FOB price of around USD 8 per ton in the second quarter of 2020, having a share of over 39 percent of global exports.
The biggest Japanese slag importer during the 2Q2020 was Taiwan, accounting for nearly 19 percent of total slag shipments, with a total of 400,000 tons.
The Asia-Pacific-Japan region exported a total of over 3 million tons of slag, a 24 percent decrease year-on-year.
The CW price index for exported slag in the Asia-Pacific-Japan region is expected to increase about 2 percent by December 2020, with prices in China projected to strengthen by almost 4 percent as steel production in Q4 generally sees a reduction due to pollution concerns at the onset of winter, while FOB prices for slag in Japan are projected to remain stable.
CW price index for exported slag in Europe to witness increase in the fourth quarter
Western Europe and the Mediterranean Basin were the second and third-largest slag exporting regions, responsible for about 13 percent and 10 percent of global exports, respectively. FOB prices for granulated slag in the Western Europe and the Mediterranean Basin is expected to witness strengthen across key markets as demand from main consuming industries including cement continues on a recovery trajectory.
In Austria, FOB rates are estimated to increase by more than 3 percent in December, when compared to September 2020 while in Turkey and Italy FOB prices are expected to increase by 4 percent and 2 percent, respectively.
The Global Cement Trade Price Report (GCTPR) is CW Research's benchmark price assessment for monthly gray cement, white cement, clinker and granulated blast furnace slag prices and volumes. The 150+ page report, published on a quarterly basis, serves as the industry go-to source for monthly price data for over 70 individual markets worldwide, including multiple cornerstone data series: import, export, ex-works and market prices.
Find out more about the report here.