Steel Closes Flat, Chinese Economy Still a Question Mark

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Hopes that China will act to boost a slowing economy did not buoy Chinese steel prices Tuesday. The buying appetite among Chinese mills remains limited amid risks steel production may drop if demand does not pick up strongly.

The steel billet cash price saw little movement on Wednesday on the LME, closing out around $390.00 per metric ton. The steel billet 3-month price saw essentially no change on the LME for the fifth day in a row, remaining around $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 ($135.40) and a low price of CNY 830.00 ($133.79) per dry metric ton. The price of Chinese HRC was unchanged at CNY 3,360 ($541.60) per metric ton. For the fifth consecutive day, the price of Chinese coking coal held flat at CNY 1,390 ($224.05) per metric ton.

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The US HRC futures contract 3-month price held steady around $640.00 per short ton. For the fifth day in a row, the spot price of the US HRC futures contract remained essentially flat at $628.00 per short ton.

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