The monthly Raw Steels MMI® registered a value of 88 in December, up 1.1 percent from November’s index value of 87.
The raw steels monthly index notched up primarily due to monthly improvement in the US shredded scrap price, though we note that prices may now have flattened. Several steel market indicators remain positive, including an improving residential construction market, rising consumer confidence (now in a three-month positive trend) and healthy demand for OCTG (oil country tubular goods) in energy markets.
“Though some of the steel market indicators remain in positive territory, we note two areas of caution,” said Lisa Reisman, managing editor of MetalMiner.
“The first involves steel imports, which have notched up in recent weeks, and global overproduction of steel,” Reisman noted.
Comparatively, steel has performed near the bottom of the MetalMiner MMI indexes for 2012. Additional commentary will appear in the upcoming monthly summary for the December edition of the Global Metal Markets Indicator report on MetalMiner’s home page.
Select Drivers of Steel Price Index Rise
Following a 14.8 percent change in price, US shredded scrap closed the month up considerably. Chinese slab prices increased by about $10 per metric ton last month. Finishing at $650.00 per short ton the 3-month price of the US HRC futures contract saw a 1.6 percent shift higher from November to December.
The 3-month price of steel billet declined 11.4 percent on the LME over the past month to $310.00 per metric ton. The price of Korean steel scrap fell for the month. The price of Chinese coking coal dropped 4.6 percent after staying flat the previous month. The price of Chinese billet fell 2.9 percent over the past month, the second straight month of declines.
The price of Korean pig iron increased slightly over the past month. This was the second month in a row that the price ticked up.
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.