Japan Steel Exports, Currency Manipulation Has US Steelmakers Worried

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Due to “Abenomics” (read Stuart Burns’ recent analysis), US steel producers are biting their fingernails a bit more.

Reuters reported that “U.S. steel imports from Japan jumped more than 30 percent in April from a year earlier, according to figures from the U.S. Census Bureau. That could be a one-month blip – preliminary data shows a 22 percent drop in shipments from Japan in May – but with all else equal, sustained weakness in the yen should boost Japan’s exports, because it makes them cheaper.”

Ultimately, even though China still leads in creating anti-dumping concerns with its cheap and low-grade steel, imports of high-end steel products from Japan (treated automotive-grade material, for example) could still prompt anti-dumping action.

What Are Today’s Steel Prices?

Chinese steel prices closed flat for the day. The price of iron ore 58% fines from India drifted very slightly downwards. The price of Chinese HRC held steady. Chinese coking coal held its value yesterday.

At $140.00, the cash price of steel billet finished the market day on the LME up 3.7 percent. Also on the LME, the steel billet 3-month price rose 3.2 percent to $160.00 per metric ton.

The US HRC futures contract spot price fell 0.3 percent yesterday to $598.00 per short ton. The 3-month price of the US HRC futures contract ended a two-day climb, settling at $617.00 per short ton.