European Steel Producers Have Restarted Half the Furnaces Idled by the Financial Crisis

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European Union steelmakers have restarted nearly half the blast furnaces that were idled in the financial crisis, according to a leading industry player, holding back recovery in a sector already hobbled by over-capacity and high energy costs, Reuters reported.

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Demand for EU steel, a sector that indirectly employs millions of Europeans and was decimated by the 2008 financial crisis, is expected to grow by 2 or 3 percent this year, after two straight years of decline.

On Tuesday, June 10, the day’s biggest mover was the steel billet cash price, which saw a 1.3 percent increase on the LME to $395.00 per metric ton. This increase comes after three straight days of stagnant prices. For the fifth consecutive day, the 3-month price of steel billet held 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 ($134.60) and a low price of CNY 830.00 ($133.00) per dry metric ton. The price of Chinese HRC continues hovering around CNY 3,380 ($541.60) per metric ton for the fifth day in a row. The price of Chinese coking coal remained essentially flat at CNY 1,390 ($222.73) per metric ton.

The US HRC futures contract 3-month price gained 0.3 percent to finish at $627.00 per short ton. After a 0.1 percent increase, the spot price of the US HRC futures contract finished the day at $668.00 per short ton.

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