Current Run-Up in HRC Steel Prices: Have We Hit the Top?

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graph of steel and raw material price index august 2013

Steel prices also continued their two-month rising price trend in our MMI series, moving from a sluggish 81 to slightly-less-sluggish 82.

Most elements within the index increased in price, from China scrap to the CME’s HRC spot futures price to shredded scrap prices. Whether these price increases will stick remains unclear. Already, some August data appears to counter the increases reported for the month of July. In particular, US shredded scrap prices have fallen slightly, as has the rate of increase for HRC.

“Personally, I believe we may have seen the top of the current run-up in HRC prices,” said Lisa Reisman, managing editor of MetalMiner.

Compare with last month’s trends – here’s our free July MMI® Report.

“Though the sheet market appears healthier to the bar market by comparison, anecdotally, we know the construction market has not provided much price support to steel prices and order books reflect that weaker demand,” Reisman said.

LME billet and coking coal from China also played a role in tempering the index increase.

Price Breakdowns

Korean steel scrap finished the month by gaining 4.9 percent. The price of US shredded scrap jumped 3.8 percent last month.

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After dropping the previous month, the price of Chinese slab prices rose 2.2 percent. Finishing at $637.00 per short ton the spot price of the US HRC futures contract saw a slight increase.

The steel billet cash price declined 3.8 percent on the LME over the month to $125.00 per metric ton. On the LME, the steel billet 3-month price closed the month at $155.00 per metric ton after dropping 3.1 percent. Last month, Chinese billet prices dropped by 2.5 percent. Chinese coking coal was down 1.4 percent for the month.

Korean pig iron did not budge the entire month.

Don’t forget to read July 2013 MMI analysis before August’s report comes out next 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 over a 30-day period. 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.