Fastenal’s Sales Trends Weakening; Chinese H-Beam Steel Down

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Fastenal is facing quite a challenge with its sales and margins trends. The company “said its sales and margins trends continued to weaken in the fourth quarter after the construction supply maker warned of the trend in December,” reports The Wall Street Journal.

“‘This weakening was worse than we expected and this created additional drain on our ability to grow earnings,’ Fastenal said. Earnings edged up 0.5% in the period.”

“Fastenal, which sells fasteners, tools and other industrial and construction supplies, has faced slowing sales-growth momentum in recent quarters amid sluggish demand in its industrial production and nonresidential-construction markets.”

“For the period, Fastenal reported a profit of $99.2 million, up from $98.7 million a year earlier. Per-share earnings were flat at 33 cents. Sales rose 7.5% to $813.8 million.”

In metal price news for the construction sector…

A 1.7 percent decline in Chinese H-beam steel made it the biggest mover of the week on the weekly Construction MMI®. Closing out the third week of declining prices, the price of Chinese rebar dropped by 1.1 percent. The price of US shredded scrap rose 0.5 percent this week, closing out the fifth consecutive week of elevating prices. The Chinese low price of 62% Australian iron ore fines remained unchanged for the week.

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The price of Chinese aluminum bar did not change since the previous week. Prices for European 1050 aluminum remained constant.

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With a 1.3 percent decrease, the weekly US Gulf Coast bar fuel surcharge closed the week. Following a 0.5 percent increase in the week prior, the weekly US Midwest bar fuel surcharge fell 0.8 percent last week. The weekly US Rocky Mountain bar fuel surcharge fell 0.6 percent after rising 0.4 percent the week before.

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.