UK steel stockholders are currently retaining a relatively short supply of materials, according to a report from MEPS.

The industry analyst says prices are relatively low at present, and that steel stockists across Europe have run down their inventories.

“Inventories across the supply chain are modest,” the organisation’s latest research report states.

“End users have been restricting their steel purchases, of late, to just those for immediate requirements.”

But this creates the risk of short supplies when demand begins to pick up – and that may lead to a corresponding price increase later in the year.

As such, it may be worth contacting UK steel stockholders promptly if any projects are in the pipeline for the second half of 2014, in order to secure a suitable supply of materials at present-day prices.

Meanwhile, with the World Cup kicking off, Brazil’s steel sector is feeling the impact of many people taking time out to enjoy the tournament.

In a separate report, MEPS note that some key steel-consuming industries are either shortening their working weeks during the World Cup, or are closing down completely until the tournament is over.