Hebei Steel Output Climbed in Dec; Korean Pig Iron Down 1.6%

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Things are looking a bit more positive for Hebei Steel. “Crude steel output from China’s top steelmaking province of Hebei rose 7.4 percent in December from the previous month, but the figure was 5.2 percent lower than 2012 as Beijing’s anti-pollution drive starts to bite,” reports Reuters.

“According to data from the National Bureau of Statistics, Hebei produced 12.3 million tonnes of crude steel in the final month of 2013, amounting to 19.7 percent of the national total, up from 18.8 percent in November, but down from 25.2 percent for the whole of the previous year.”

“The province traditionally produces around a quarter of China’s total steel output, but its share tailed off significantly in the last two months of 2013, largely as a result of a government campaign to tackle sources of air pollution in northern China.”

In metal price news for steel…
The week’s biggest mover on the weekly Raw Steels MMI® was the price of US shredded scrap, which saw a 1.2 percent increase. This week marked the third in a row of rising prices for the metal. The US HRC futures contract 3-month price dropped 0.6 percent this week, closing out the third consecutive week of falling prices at $629.00 per short ton. Following a 0.7 percent increase in the week prior, the spot price of the US HRC futures contract fell 0.4 percent last week to $672.00 per short ton.

Korean pig iron’s 1.6 percent decline made it this week’s biggest mover on the weekly Raw Steels MMI®. Korean steel scrap remained essentially flat from the previous week.

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Chinese steel prices were mixed for the week. The price of iron ore 58% fines from India was range bound. Chinese HRC prices were off slightly, down from a week ago. Chinese coking coal remained unchanged for the week. The price of Chinese slab fell 0.9 percent over the past week. This was the fourth week in a row of declining prices.

Closing at $355.00 per metric ton, the steel billet 3-month price remained unchanged on the LME for the week. The cash price of steel billet stayed essentially flat on the LME at $350.00 per metric ton.

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The price of US shredded scrap finished the week 1.2 percent higher. For the third week in a row, the 3-month price of the US HRC futures contract dropped, falling 0.6 percent to $629.00 per short ton. The US HRC futures contract spot price fell 0.4 percent to $672.00 per short ton after rising 0.7 percent the week before.

The Raw Steels MMI® collects and weights 13 global steel and raw material price points to provide a unique view into global steel price trends. For more information on the Raw Steels MMI®, how it’s calculated or how your company can use the index, please drop us a note at: info (at) agmetalminer (dot) com.