“Vale SA, the world’s second-largest mining company, reported an 18 percent slide in first-quarter net profit,” reported Reuters this morning, citing foreign exchange rates, taxes, and likely above all, lower sales of iron ore and other raw materials, as China’s demand continues to dwindle.
To that effect, the China Iron and Steel Association reported that Chinese demand should stay low in May, as downstream demand looks shaky and prices should remain depressed.
“New building in the construction sector has fallen and the manufacturing sector remains weak,” according to CISA’s April report. China’s steel mill production hit 191.75 million metric tons of crude steel in Q1 2013, up 10.1 percent from last year, according to Reuters.
Current Steel and Raw Material Pricing
Chinese coking coal saw a 3.9 percent decline this week, making it the biggest mover on the weekly Raw Steels MMI®.
Chinese slab saw a 1.0 percent decline over the past week. The price of Chinese billet finished the week down 0.6 percent. The price of Chinese HRC rose 0.5 percent after falling 2.6 percent during the previous week. The price of iron ore 58% fines from India hit a slightly higher price range than the week before.
Following a steady week, prices for on the LME the steel billet 3-month price closed flat at $170.00 per metric ton. The cash price of steel billet stayed essentially flat on the LME at $145.00 per metric ton.
Closing out the third week of declining prices, the price of US shredded scrap dropped by 1.5 percent. The US HRC futures contract spot price rose 0.5 percent to $598.00 per short ton after falling 2.1 percent during the previous week. With a 0.2 percent decrease, the 3-month price of the US HRC futures contract closed the week at $601.00 per short ton.
Korean steel prices were mixed for the week. The price of Korean steel scrap dropped 2.8 percent this week, closing out the third consecutive week of falling prices. The price of Korean pig iron rose 1.6 percent after falling 1.6 percent during the previous week.
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. 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.