Steelmaker ArcelorMittal reported its first quarterly profit in two years as it reaped benefits from closing mills in Europe and a resurgence in US steel demand, but a glum outlook triggered a sharp slide in its shares all the same.
A sharp drop in iron-ore prices caused the company to reduce its full-year earnings forecast, underscoring how dependent the world’s biggest steelmaker has become on mining for its profits.
Luxembourg-based ArcelorMittal swung to a profit of $52 million in the second quarter compared with a loss of $780 million in the same period a year earlier.
ArcelorMittal’s sales of steel in North America jumped 13.1% compared with a year earlier to $5.4 billion. In Europe, sales declined slightly, but earnings increased by more than 40% to $689 million.
On Monday, August 4, the US HRC futures contract spot price experienced the biggest change, rising 1.5 percent to $675.00 per short ton. The 3-month price of the US HRC futures contract fell 0.8 percent to $641.00 per short ton.
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 ($135.92) and a low price of CNY 830.00 ($134.30) per dry metric ton. For the fifth consecutive day, the price of Chinese HRC held flat at CNY 3,380 ($546.93) per metric ton. The price of Chinese coking coal was unchanged at CNY 1,390 ($224.92) per metric ton.
The steel billet cash price showed little movement yesterday on the LME at $420.00 per metric ton. The 3-month price of steel billet continues hovering around $425.00 per metric ton on the LME for the fifth day in a row.