The monthly Raw Steels MMI® registered a value of 88 in January, on par with December’s value.
Prices for most steel products over the month of December held constant.
“The outlook for steel demand remains somewhat tempered with good demand coming from some sectors such as automotive, energy and residential construction, but not all demand has returned to pre-recessionary levels,” said Lisa Reisman, managing editor of MetalMiner.
“In addition, we still face a situation of over-supply coming from markets such as China, which will continue to put pressure on steel prices,” she continued.
With the US posting an average 76% capacity utilization rate for 2012, US steel producers may do better in 2013 than 2012, but the industry really needs to operate at a higher capacity utilization rate for price increases to stick.
Price Movers on the Monthly Index
It was a strong month for the spot price of the US HRC futures contract. The metal posted a 5.5 percent increase, finishing at $655.00 per short ton. The US HRC futures contract 3-month price increased 0.8 percent to $655.00 per short ton.
US shredded scrap saw its price rise 1 percent to $391.00 per short ton.
At CNY 3,180 ($509.73), Chinese billet finished the month relatively even. Chinese slab also hardly moved, settling at CNY 3,730 ($597.89) per metric ton. Chinese coking coal closed the month at CNY 1,650 ($264.48) per metric ton after dropping 2.9 percent.
At $280.00 per metric ton, the 3-month price of steel billet fell 9.7 percent on the LME.
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.