What is the cost of steel in 2024? Current steel prices

Steel is an indispensable element of the modern economy, playing a crucial role in various key sectors, from construction to the machinery industry. However, recent dynamic changes in global markets have significantly influenced steel prices worldwide. Consequently, tracking current trends and forecasting future changes in steel prices has become crucial for all stakeholders, from investors to end consumers.

Historical steel prices – increases 2020-2023

Starting from mid-2020, the steel market experienced significant price increases driven by various factors. One key element of this dynamic was the sharp rise in iron ore and scrap steel prices. Additionally, 2021 saw a notable increase in coking coal prices, further exacerbating the situation in the construction and industrial materials market.

Substantial price increases were also observed in the global market, primarily due to China’s sustained high steel production using the more cost-effective blast furnace method. This directly impacted the local market in Poland.

Early 2022 witnessed a dynamic surge in scrap prices, further impacting the domestic market. This escalation intensified after the outbreak of the war in Ukraine, leading to rapid and significant price hikes in steel products, reaching even double-digit percentage increases. Additionally, physical shortages of certain steel products further complicated the situation and influenced price developments.

In 2023, steel prices continued to rise, reaching as high as 9500 PLN per ton. Fortunately, the upward trend slowed in the following months, stabilizing in September and October. In November 2023, steel prices finally began to slightly decrease after years of uninterrupted growth.

Factors affecting steel prices in 2024

The price of steel is influenced by a complex set of factors, both globally and locally. The most significant of these include:

Impact of the Chinese market on global steel prices

China is the largest steel producer globally, accounting for over 50% of global production. Therefore, the situation in the Chinese market is crucial for shaping steel prices on the international stage.

Data from tradingeconomics.com shows that in 2024, futures contract prices for rebar steel in China fell below 2050 PLN per ton in February – the lowest level since the end of October 2023. This indicates reduced demand for steel in the Chinese market compared to the pandemic period. The decrease in steel prices in China directly translates to a decline in global market prices.

Current steel prices in 2024

Depending on the nature of the products, steel prices can vary. Here are the key details regarding the most popular steel products in 2024.

HEB 200 profile

Wide-flange beam, standard DIN 1025-2:1995, steel grade S235JRG2 according to standard EN 10025-2:2004.

Hot-rolled sheet St3S

Sheet from steel with dimensions 1500 x 3000 x 4 mm, Polish standard PN-88/H-84020.

Ribbed bar Ø 12 mm, BST 500

12 mm diameter bars, steel grade BST 500 according to Eurocode 2 compliant with PN-H-93220:2006 requirements.

Forecast for the latter part of 2024

Considering the stabilization of steel prices observed in the second half of 2023 and the reduced demand in the Chinese market, it is likely that steel prices in Poland will remain relatively stable in 2024, with the possibility of slight decreases. However, the key factor will be the situation in raw material markets and potential changes in demand from the construction and industrial sectors.

Why tracking steel prices is important?

Steel plays a crucial role in many key sectors of the economy, such as construction, machinery industry, and technical infrastructure. Therefore, its prices significantly impact the costs of many investments and projects. Consequently, tracking current price trends in the steel market and analyzing the factors shaping these prices is extremely important for all stakeholders, from investors to end consumers. This enables better planning, cost calculation for ventures, and making more informed purchasing decisions.