Nippon Steel & Sumimoto, Off POSCO's Forecast, Bearish on Prices

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Big Japanese steel producer Nippon Steel & Sumimoto Metal Corp is concerned about Chinese mills’ output eating into their recovery.

“Nippon Steel’s bearish outlook on steel prices comes after South Korean rival POSCO late last month forecast weaker prices for the alloy, and may mean that the Japanese company’s export earnings, which recently turned profitable due to a weaker yen, may be impacted,” Reuters reported.

“The global steel market has excess capacity of around 334 million tonnes, of which around 200 million tonnes is in China, according to investment bank Morgan Stanley. That glut is pressuring steel prices with global demand only forecast to grow by 2.9 percent this year, and by a similarly slow 3.2 percent in 2014, based on estimates by the World Steel Association.”

Today’s Steel and Raw Material Input Prices

Chinese steel closed mixed yesterday. The price of iron ore 58% fines from India inched slightly higher. Thursday saw the price of Chinese HRC drift down 0.5 percent after a couple of stagnant days. Chinese slab fell 0.3 percent on Thursday.

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Also on the LME, the steel billet cash price held steady around $140.00 per metric ton. On the LME, the 3-month price of steel billet held steady around $160.00 per metric ton.

The 3-month price of the US HRC futures contract steadied at $631.00 per short ton following two-days of increases. The US HRC futures contract spot price saw essentially no change for the fifth day in a row, remaining around $648.00 per short ton.

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