LME Steel Billet Price Jumps, But Chinese Recession Fears Keep Prices Low

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The cash price of steel billet saw the biggest upwards shift for the day, rising 5.7 percent on the LME to close at $370.00 per metric ton on Friday, March 7. The steel billet 3-month price gained 5.6 percent on the LME, finishing at $375.00 per metric ton.

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A surprise drop in exports swung China’s trade balance into deficit last month and amplified fears of a slowdown in the world’s No. 2 economy, according to Reuters. Chinese exports fell 18.1 percent in February from a year ago, while the market had been expecting an increase. The dismal numbers followed a series of factory surveys since the start of 2014 that have pointed to weakness in economic activity as demand for Chinese products has faltered at home and abroad.

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Chinese steel prices closed flat for the day. The price of iron ore 58% fines from India fluctuated in a short range.  The price of Chinese HRC remained essentially flat. The price of Chinese coking coal was unchanged.

The US HRC futures contract 3-month price flattened after two days of improvement. The US HRC futures contract spot price saw little movement.

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