Balli Group Chairman, Vahid Alaghband, reports international steel market bottoms out and returns to normal trading levels.
Vahid Alaghband, Group Chairman of Balli Group, one of the world’s largest privately owned independent commodity traders, has stated that he believes the indications are that the international steel market has now bottomed out and is once again experiencing a normal trading environment, albeit at reduced volumes.
The return to regular steel trading confirms that the market has now recovered from the state of paralysis it found itself in last year.
Vahid Alaghband commented: “The international steel trading market is no longer frozen and we expect further stabilisation over the next 6-12 months. The return of normal trading and the relative stability of prices is an important milestone in the recovery of the construction industry and for the global economy.”
Nasser Alaghband, director at Balli Steel, added: “The bottoming out of the market for steel follows a cut in capacity by producers in response to the global downturn in construction and the seasonal fall in demand for the northern hemisphere. The growth of the steel futures markets for construction steel in London and Dubai since 2007 has helped increase price transparency and has enabled decision making on capital investment.”
Major steel consumers – property developers, construction firms and ship builders – welcomed the growth of the futures market for steel as it provides them with a means of controlling risk by enabling users and suppliers to lock in prices and avoid losses.
Balli Steel experienced good trading levels in Q4 (2008) and expects Q1 to be slower, partially due to seasonal variations in the market. Near normal market conditions are predicted for the second half of the year.
Nasser Alaghband observed: “The market became incredibly difficult and almost non-existent early in 2008 as demand, principally from the construction industry evaporated in response to the global financial crisis. The situation eased during the third quarter and by Q4 the market began to trade again in a normal fashion.”
“One major obstacle to European trade is the loss of access to credit insurance as insurers such as Euler Hermes and Atradius re-evaluate their exposures in deteriorating economic conditions”, Nasser concluded.
About Balli Group plc
Balli Holdings, is a large private, multi-national corporation, headquartered in London, but with offices in Dubai and other key business hubs around the world.
Balli was established in 1982 and operates a number of affiliated companies specialising in commodity trading, industrial, real estate and private equity with operations in over 20 countries. Together with its affiliated companies, Balli employ over 2,000 people worldwide.
Balli Steel is the company’s principal operating subsidiary, and is one of the largest independent traders of steel in the world. Balli Steel provides raw materials and steel to a number of market segments including steel mills, steel service centres, pipe and tube makers, the oil and gas industry and other designated end user segments such as the packaging products industry.
The company’s real estate operations currently have a property portfolio of over $3billion, comprised of over 900,000 sq ft of property under development with a Gross Development Value of some $800million, and an additional 2million sq ft and a GDV of almost $2.5billion in the pipeline.