Weekly Raw Steels MMI®: Steel Billet Weakens, Platts China Index Expects Another Flat Month

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The health of China’s steel sector is not expected to greatly improve in August, with the industry largely anticipating that new steel orders will stay flat over the next month, according to the latest Platts China Steel Sentiment Index (Platts CSSI), which showed a reading of 46.97 out of a possible 100 points.

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The August reading is up 1.07 points from 45.90 in July, and is the second consecutive month the index has remained below 50.0.

The Platts CSSI reflects the responses of steel makers, traders and exporters at the end of each month to questions about new orders for the month ahead and the proprietary survey contains additional sentiment readings on production, inventories and prices. Similar to a purchasing managers’ index, a CSSI reading above 50 indicates an increase/expansion and a reading below 50 indicates a decrease/contraction.

Steel has remained flat-to-down on the MMI for most of the year and, while steelmakers post gains, prices are not moving much.

The biggest mover this week on the LME was the cash price of steel billet with a 2.4 percent fall on the weekly Raw Steels MMI® to close the week at $410.00 per metric ton. Also on the LME, the steel billet 3-month price traded sideways last week, hovering around $425.00 per metric ton.

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Chinese steel prices were flat for the week. The price of iron ore 58% fines from India hit a high price of CNY 840.00 ($136.13) and a low price of CNY 830.00 ($134.51) per dry metric ton. Chinese HRC traded sideways last week, hovering around CNY 3,380 ($547.75) per metric ton. Following a steady week, prices for Chinese coking coal closed flat at CNY 1,390 ($225.26) per metric ton. Closing at CNY 3,480 ($563.96) per metric ton, Chinese slab remained unchanged for the week.

The price of US shredded scrap increased by a slight 1.3 percent over the past week to $379.00 per short ton. The US HRC futures contract spot price rose 0.7 percent over the past week to $675.00 per short ton. The 3-month price of the US HRC futures contract stayed essentially flat at $641.00 per short ton.

Korean steel prices were mixed for the week. The price of Korean steel scrap declined 2.0 percent over the past week, settling at KRW 250,000 ($240.87) per metric ton. Prices for Korean pig iron remained constant, closing the week at KRW 635,000 ($619.69) per metric ton.

The Raw Steels MMI® collects and weights 13 global steel and raw material price points to provide a unique view into global steel price trends. For more information on the Raw Steels MMI®, how it’s calculated or how your company can use the index, please drop us a note at: info (at) agmetalminer (dot) com.

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