Platts: Steel Sheet Market Entering New Stable Period

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McGraw-Hill Financial’s Platts reported that the US sheet steel market might be in for another stretch of relative stability, as upcoming outages balance import pressure and tepid demand.

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One industry consultant said manufacturing – and thus steel consumption – should perk up a bit in the second half of the year, but “lower raw material prices, higher utilization, and higher imports may cap the upside at something less than $700/st,” he told Platts.

“Probably the best outcome would be a ‘steady-as-she-goes’ scenario, thus avoiding price volatility – and that seems to be the case today whether one talks about base metals (other than nickel), ferrous scrap prices, or even equities,” the consultant said.

On Thursday, May 29, the day’s biggest mover was the 3-month price of the US HRC futures contract, which saw a 0.3 percent decline to $623.00 per short ton. This was the first move after three changeless days. The US HRC futures contract spot price continues hovering around $685.00 per short ton for the fifth day in a row.

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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 ($134.36) and a low price of CNY 830.00 ($132.76) per dry metric ton. The price of Chinese HRC remained steady at CNY 3,380 ($540.64) per metric ton. For the fifth day in a row, the price of Chinese coking coal remained essentially flat at CNY 1,390 ($222.33) per metric ton.

The cash price of steel billet was unchanged on the LME at $390.00 per metric ton. The 3-month price of steel billet remained essentially flat at $400.00 per metric ton on the LME.

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