As China imports record lows of iron ore and coal due to sluggish demand, the finished steel markets are seeing the effects on pricing, as direct or indirect as they may be.
China Iron Ore Imports Slammed
According to Reuters, “China imported 74.88 million tons of iron ore in August, down 9.3 percent from the previous month, official data from General Administration of Customs of China showed on Monday. Net steel product exports dropped 3.7 percent during the period.”
Iron ore prices recently hit the $85-per-ton mark, the lowest since 2009, an indication that there’s a glut of global supply and that the Red Dragon has alighted on a (rather large) branch to catch its fiery breath from pumping out steel to feed its building construction.
So What Are Today’s Steel, Iron Ore Prices?
Chinese steel prices were flat for the day. The price of iron ore 58% fines from India hit a high price of CNY 840.00 ($136.81) and a low price of CNY 830.00 ($135.18) per dry metric ton. The price of Chinese HRC saw essentially no change for the fifth day in a row, remaining around CNY 3,380 ($550.51) per metric ton. The price of Chinese coking coal was unchanged at CNY 1,390 ($226.39) per metric ton.
Also on the LME, the steel billet cash price showed little movement last Friday, hovering around $450.00 per metric ton. On the LME, the steel billet 3-month price held steady around $455.00 per metric ton.
The US HRC futures contract 3-month price saw essentially no change for the fifth day in a row, remaining around $645.00 per short ton. The spot price of the US HRC futures contract saw little movement last Friday at $660.00 per short ton.