US hot-dipped galvanized (HDG) steel and shredded steel scrap prices tempered any movement in MetalMiner’s monthly automotive metals index, which reflected a sharp slowdown in US car sales in September.
Led by General Motors Corp.’s 11-percent year-on-year drop, total auto sales in the US dropped to about 15.3 million units, which translates to a sharp 5.1 percent fall in September, following a 1.8 percent rise the month before, according to Bloomberg. Even though the annualized sales pace for September is up 3.4 percent on a year ago basis, other automakers were having trouble selling during the month as well.
Honda, Toyota and Nissan all posted lower US sales figures in September. The bright spots for the US industry included Ford Motor Co. and Chrysler – both automotive OEMs increased their year-on-year sales due to new products.
Materials Costs Rising
According to several sources, a number of US steel producers have announced that they are raising their flat-rolled steel prices, including AK Steel, US Steel Corp., ArcelorMittal and Severstal. It will be interesting to see how these price increases will affect buyers in the automotive market – and next month’s Automotive MMI®.
Key Price Drivers of Automotive Metals Index
US HDG steel fell 2.0 percent to $736.00 per short ton. At $356.00 per short ton, US shredded scrap was down 1.9 percent for the month.
At $7,290 per metric ton, the cash price of primary copper finished the month on the LME 2.8 percent higher. For the second month in a row, the copper 3-month price increased, rising 2.4 percent on the LME over the past month to $7,295 per metric ton. The price of US palladium bar dropped 1.8 percent to $723.00 per ounce after rising the previous month.
US platinum bar prices plummeted 7.5 percent to $1,400 per ounce after rising the previous month. Chinese primary lead prices fell 1.2 percent to $2,303 per metric ton after rising the previous month.
Hovering around $4.06 per kilogram for the month, Korean 5052 coil premium over 1050 sheet rose 3.8 percent – the third month in a row of increases.
The Automotive MMI® collects and weights 7 metal price points used in automotive production to provide a unique view into automotive metal trends over a 30-day period. For more information on the Automotive MMI®, how it’s calculated or how your company can use the index, please drop us a note at: info (at) agmetalminer (dot) com.