The region’s economy is expected to continue to recover this year as vaccines are rolled out and as the global economy is likely to gain momentum from the second quarter of 2021. Low interest rates and a weaker US dollar should also be supportive of domestic growth this year. However, the transport and tourism sectors may take longer to rebound to pre-pandemic levels.
The forecast is still for 3% GDP growth for Dubai in 2021, following an estimated 7% contraction in 2020.
Stainless steel demand was initially impacted by the disruption caused by repeated lockdowns to mitigate the spread of COVID, which had negative consequences for the construction and hospitality sectors. Since late November, price increases for 304 grade flat products have amounted to US$ 100 per tonne in most of the world’s major markets, representing a hike of around 4-5%.
In 2020, the nickel market was strongly impacted by the global slowdown resulting from the pandemic. Lockdown measures were implemented across the globe to slow the spread of the virus, which led to a reduction in end-use demand for nickel-containing products. However, there was a positive end to 2020 as nickel recorded daily increases on the LME to hit its highest level for the year on December 20 of US$ 17,650 per tonne. This was also the highest level since mid-October 2019.
Sharif Metals, Int'l LLC (ARE)