ArcelorMittal, Coal of Africa in Cahoots on Coking Coal; Industry, Prices Sour

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There was lots of negativity in the steel industry over the past week, as major steel producers went on record with their disappointment in falling prices and US steel production and export figures underperforming based on expectations.

For example, Severstal’s deputy CEO, displaying some trademark Russian doom and gloom, told a steel conference crowd, “We don’t see really any silver lining at this point in time, that prices may pick up any time soon.”

Coal of Africa Ltd. wants to build South Africa’s largest coking coal mine (which will deliver 2.3 million metric tons of coking coal a year and 3.2 million tons of thermal coal), and since ArcelorMittal has a 12% stake in the company, the steel producer will reportedly negotiate an offtake agreement to source their coking coal once production gets going.

But falling steel, iron ore and coking coal prices are this week’s trend:

The cash price of steel billet finished as the week’s biggest mover on the weekly Raw Steels MMI® after dropping 3.8 percent on the LME and landing at $125.00 per metric ton. This week, the steel billet 3-month price finished at $145.00 per metric ton on the LME after falling 3.3 percent.

today's metal prices - MetalMiner IndXChinese steel prices were mixed for the week. The price of iron ore 58% fines from India ended up slightly higher. The price of Chinese HRC rose 0.6 percent after falling 0.3 percent during the previous week. The price of Chinese coking coal did not change since the previous week. Chinese slab fell 0.6 percent over the past week.

After a 1.6 percent decline, US shredded scrap closed out the week lower. Following a 2.6 percent increase in the week prior, the spot price of the US HRC futures contract fell 0.5 percent last week to $600.00 per short ton. The 3-month price of the US HRC futures contract stayed essentially flat at $605.00 per short ton.

Korean steel prices and pig iron prices were flat for the week.

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