AK Steel (NYSE: AKS) is the latest steel producer to pay out to the US government.
According to a company statement, AK Steel “reached an agreement to settle an action brought on behalf of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and Commonwealth of Kentucky under the Clean Air Act and other statutes and regulations with respect to AK Steel’s former Ashland, Kentucky coke plant,” which closed in 2011 because it lost cost-competitiveness.
One of the reasons for that: the seemingly whopping cost of environmental compliance – “Corporate-wide, from 2003 through the end of 2012, AK Steel spent approximately $85 million on environmental-related capital projects and more than $1.1 billion to operate and maintain its environmental controls.” Yowza.
Today’s Steel, Iron Ore and Coking Coal Prices
With a 0.2 percent increase over the past day, the US HRC futures contract 3-month price was the biggest mover, closing at $631.00 per short ton on Wednesday, August 21. The spot price of the US HRC futures contract held steady at $648.00 per short ton.
Chinese steel prices closed flat for the day. The price of iron ore 58% fines from India stayed rangebound. The price of Chinese HRC showed little movement on Wednesday. For the fifth day in a row, the price of Chinese coking coal remained essentially flat.
The cash price of steel billet held steady on Wednesday on the LME, remaining around $140.00 per metric ton. On the LME, the steel billet 3-month price saw little change in its price on Wednesday at $160.00 per metric ton.