Nippon Steel Raises Full-Year Profit Forecast; Chinese H-Beam Steel Falls

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Things are looking up for Nippon Steel & Sumitomo Metal Corp. The company “raised its full-year profit forecast on Wednesday on cost cuts and strong steel demand in Japan, lifted by the ‘Abenomics’ stimulus program,” reports Reuters.

“Japan’s overall crude steel production for the April-September period hit a five-year high, buoyed by solid construction demand from government infrastructure spending and a rush to build homes ahead of a sales tax hike next year.”

“It now expects 340 billion yen in recurring profit for the year to March 2014, above the 300 billion yen it forecast three months ago.”

The week’s biggest mover on the weekly Construction MMI® was the price of Chinese H-beam steel, which saw a 2.0 percent decline. This comes on the heels of a 2.1 percent increase the week before. The Chinese low price of 62% Australian iron ore fines traded sideways last week. US shredded scrap remained unchanged for the week. Chinese rebar prices held steady from the previous week.

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Prices for Chinese aluminum bar remained constant. European 1050 aluminum remained essentially flat from the previous week.

The weekly US Midwest bar fuel surcharge declined after drifting 0.7 percent since last week. Since last week, the price of the weekly US Gulf Coast bar fuel surcharge fell after moving 0.6 percent. With a 0.4 percent decrease, the weekly US Rocky Mountain bar fuel surcharge closed the week.

The Construction MMI® collects and weights 9 metal price points used within the construction industry to provide a unique view into construction industry price trends. For more information on the Construction MMI®, how it’s calculated or how your company can use the index, please drop us a note at: info (at) agmetalminer (dot) com.