Whirlpool Corp, GE Signify Economic Malaise; Stainless Prices Flat

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The US economy has been stubborn to break out of its current standstill, and major US OEMs display the symptoms to a T.

A recent WSJ piece mentions that Whirlpool Corp.’s earnings in the technology sector have been sub-par, falling short of expectations (even though profits were higher), and General Electric Co. said that European sales had “stabilized” while reporting lower global revenues.

Whirlpool is generally a good proxy for consumer demand in the durable goods sector, which has been lackadaisical of late.

Economists have revised their thoughts on the economy, saying it grew at an annualized rate of just 1.5% in the second quarter, according to The Wall Street Journal’s latest survey of forecasters. The worrisome angle? “The economists have become markedly more pessimistic since June, when they estimated a 1.9% pace for second-quarter growth, and several forecasters now believe the growth rate fell below 1% for the second time in the past three quarters.”

Meanwhile, stainless prices in China have remained flat, while nickel markets have shown weekly improvement.

The week’s biggest mover on the weekly Stainless MMI® was the cash price of primary Indian nickel, which saw a 2.9 percent increase. This comes on the heels of a 4.0 percent decline the week prior.

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The nickel 3-month price rose 1.8 percent on the LME to $13,975 per metric ton after falling 0.4 percent during the previous week. The spot price of nickel rose 1.7 percent on the LME to $13,880 per metric ton after falling 0.3 percent during the previous week.

Chinese ferro-chrome remained essentially flat from the previous week. The week finished with no movement for Chinese ferro-moly.

The price of Chinese primary nickel rose 0.8 percent after falling 0.3 percent during the previous week.

Chinese 304 and 316 stainless steel coil and scrap traded sideways last week.

Korean 430 stainless steel coil and 304 coil did not change since the previous week.

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The Stainless MMI® collects and weights 14 global stainless steel and raw material price points to provide a unique view into stainless steel price trends. For more information on the Stainless MMI®, how it’s calculated or how your company can use the index, please drop us a note at: info (at) agmetalminer (dot) com.