US Steel Exports Rise in May, China Slab Price Up on Daily Index

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Although May numbers for US exports looked good, we can’t say it’s the start of great times for the industry.

David Phelps, president of AIIS, for example, “said that exports of American made steel increased in May primarily due to improved shipments to our NAFTA partners and other countries in the Western Hemisphere,” according to Steel Guru. “Exports increased slightly to Asia and declined to Europe. Phelps said that while the increase in May is encouraging, economic conditions in many international markets are in turmoil, especially Asia and the EU, making it difficult to conclude that the May data are the beginning of a positive trend at this point. For the first live months of 2013 compared to 2012, exports declined by 11.3%.”

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With a 5.0 percent increase on Monday, July 8, Chinese slab was the biggest mover on the daily Raw Steels MMI®. The price of Chinese HRC ended a two-day climb, settling between $550 and $600 per metric ton. For the fifth consecutive day, the price of Chinese coking coal held flat. The price of iron ore 58% fines from India dropped off a tiny bit.

On the LME, the steel billet cash price fell 3.6 percent to $135.00 per metric ton. The 3-month price of steel billet saw little price change yesterday on the LME at $160.00 per metric ton.

The US HRC futures contract 3-month price saw little movement yesterday at $619.00 per short ton. The US HRC futures contract spot price remained essentially flat at $635.00 per short ton.