Fears over rising steel prices eased when German industrial group ThyssenKrupp said it did not expect costs to go much higher thanks to easier supplies.
Chief financial officer Stefan Kristen yesterday told an investment conference in Germany: "In general I would say the steel cycle is at a very high level. We will not see major jumps forward pricingwise and volume-wise for the moment."
He added that he expected "mature behaviour" on the part of the market.
Mr Kristen said the market would continue to see steel shortages as in the past 18 months amid demand from industrialising nations, interspersed with temporary supply overhangs that would prompt production cuts.
Thyssen itself said last month it would cut its midtodownstream steel production by 500,000 tonnes in the three months to June to help address a temporary glut.
"We believe that in Europe there is currently too much in the pipeline, approximately two million tonnes," he said.
But steelmakers were now better placed to respond to such situations, he added.
"We are starting to get the same degree of consolidation as our customers but definitely not the same as our suppliers and that leads automatically to more responsible behaviour in the market," he said.