Monthly Raw Steels Index: Have 2012 Prices Reached a Floor?

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MetalMiner Raw Steels Price Index Nov 2012 chart

MetalMiner’s Raw Steels price index held steady this month with an index reading of 87, despite mixed price movements for various steel forms/grades and raw materials.

current steel prices - MetalMiner IndXAll exchange-traded products — LME steel billet and HRC futures contracts — fell, along with US shredded scrap. Meanwhile Asian markets, particularly China and Korea experienced price increases, most notably HRC in China.

Check out today’s and and this week’s Raw Steels price movements here. 

“Though coking coal prices have fallen along with shredded scrap, we may have seen the bottom of the most recent steel price cycle,” said Lisa Reisman, managing editor of MetalMiner. “Q4 typically brings price increases as distributors look to re-stock and mills subsequently raise their prices.”

But not all signals suggest prices will continue to rise (though we have seen some recent price improvement in the past week).

For example, MetalMiner editor Stuart Burns recently wrote about falling coking coal prices, suggesting recent deals have transacted at the $79/ton level on the back of structural changes in the market primarily due to a glut of US coal exports (thanks to the natural gas shale boom) and a strong Australian dollar making Aussie exports less competitive on the global market.

Price Drivers of the Raw Steels Index

After dropping the previous month, the 3-month price of the US HRC futures contract prices rose 5.9 percent to $645 per short ton. Korean pig iron ended up increasing 2.4 percent.

For the second month in a row, the price of Chinese billet increased, rising 1.7 percent over the past month. The price of Chinese slab rose 1.6 percent over the past month.

today's metal prices - MetalMiner IndXMeanwhile, the price of Chinese coking coal rose 0.8 percent.

Korean steel scrap prices dove, dropping 14.4 percent from October to November. Following suit, US shredded scrap finished the month with a 10.4 percent decline in price. The steel billet 3-month price dropped 2.9 percent over the past month to $350.00 per metric ton.

The Raw Steels MMI® collects and weights 13 global steel and raw material price points to provide a unique view into global steel price trends over a 30-day period. For more information on the Raw Steels MMI®, how it’s calculated or how your company can use the index, please drop us a note at: info (at) agmetalminer (dot) com.

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