Ukraine's Steelmakers Feeling Stressed By Crisis; 2.9% Gain for Korean Steel Scrap

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Ukraine’s steelmakers could soon be feeling even more stress. “Ukraine’s choice of closer ties with Moscow, spurning a trade pact with the EU, could rub its struggling steelmakers up against Russia’s own beleaguered metals firms, who will resist Kiev’s attempts to export its way out of trouble,” reports Reuters.

“Since President Viktor Yanukovich pulled out of the deal with the European Union, a key market for the steel industry, the former Soviet country of 46 million has been in turmoil, with mass protests in the capital and markets hammered by fears of currency devaluation or sovereign bond default.”

“The protests will make it harder for Yanukovich to accept President Vladimir Putin’s invitation to join a regional Customs Union and the advantages that would bring to its exporters.”

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Rising 1.2 percent to $676.00 per short ton, the US HRC futures contract spot price saw the largest increase on the weekly Raw Steels MMI® this week. The week finished with no movement for US shredded scrap. Following a steady week, prices for the 3-month price of the US HRC futures contract closed flat at $650.00 per short ton.

Korean steel scrap improved by 2.9 percent on the weekly Raw Steels MMI®. Korean pig iron remained essentially flat from the previous week.

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Chinese steel prices were up for the week. The price of iron ore 58% fines from India were range bound. Following a 1.7 percent increase, Chinese HRC finished the week. Chinese coking coal rose by a slight 2.9 percent. In the past week, Chinese slab saw its price shift up 0.9 percent.

Following a 4.3 percent increase in the week prior, the 3-month price of steel billet fell 2.0 percent on the LME last week to $240.00 per metric ton. Also on the LME, the cash price of steel billet closed at $240.00 per metric ton after a flat week.

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