Vallourec SA Likes US Shale Oil Drilling, Not Shale Gas; Steel Billet Price Up

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Vallourec SA, in the midst of seeing Brazilian demand drop and affect the steel-tube company’s bottom line, is nonetheless somewhat optimistic on shale oil drilling in the United States – but not so hot on shale gas, as prices remain depressed.

“The company said in a statement that it saw no signs of recovery in shale gas drilling in the United States, but was positive it could take advantage of shale oil drilling,” reported Reuters. ‘… The product mix driven by shale oil drilling is evolving towards lower-margin semi-premium connections,’ Vallourec said in a statement after an investor conference in Pittsburgh. Vallourec makes seamless steel tubing used in oil and shale gas drilling, the automotive industry as well as building components.”

On Thursday, September 26, the day’s biggest mover on MetalMiner’s steel price index was the steel billet cash price, which saw a 4.5 percent increase on the LME to $209.00 per metric ton. The steel billet 3-month price flattened at $230.00 after two days of improvement on the LME.

Chinese steel closed mixed yesterday. The price of iron ore 58% fines from India remained relatively rangebound. The price of Chinese slab fell 0.3 percent. The price of Chinese HRC saw little movement.

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On the tail of a three-day flat streak, the US HRC futures contract spot price rose by 0.3 percent, settling at $645.00 per short ton. The US HRC futures contract 3-month price was unchanged at $625.00 per short ton.

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