Steel Billet Surges, Futures Could Be Harbinger of an April Drop

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Steel surged today on the LME, despite a drop in futures contracts. Reuters reported that Chinese steel and iron ore futures dropped for a second session on Monday after weak manufacturing data added to signs of a slowdown in Chinese economy, which may curb its demand for the two commodities.

Despite the outlook for April and beyond, the steel billet cash price saw a 2.6 percent increase on Monday, reaching $390.00 per metric ton on the LME and making it the biggest mover for the day. For the fifth day in a row, the steel billet 3-month price remained essentially flat on the LME at $400.00 per metric ton.

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Chinese steel prices closed flat for the day. The price of iron ore 58% fines from India hit a high price of CNY 840.00 ($134.93) and a low price of CNY 830.00 ($133.33) per dry metric ton. The price of Chinese HRC remained essentially flat at CNY 3,360 ($539.73) per metric ton. The price of Chinese coking coal continues hovering around CNY 1,390 ($223.28) per metric ton for the fifth day in a row.

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After improving for two days, the US HRC futures contract 3-month price declined 0.5 percent to $635.00 per short ton. The US HRC futures contract spot price showed little movement yesterday at $628.00 per short ton.

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