Steel Prices Fall as Demand Falters

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After a brief, summer-long stretch of rising demand, steel prices are starting to decline, indicating that moves to increase production may have been too much too soon.

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Hot-rolled steel, a benchmark grade that typically is processed into cars, building structures or appliances, cost about $600 to $620 a metric ton in August. Now it can be had for about $550-$570 a ton, a drop of about 8%, according to World Steel Dynamics, a steel research firm.

The US HRC futures contract spot price fell 3.6% on Wednesday, October 1, making it the day’s biggest mover. After three days of flat prices, it closed at $639.00 per short ton. After holding steady for the past few days, the US HRC futures contract 3-month price fell 0.6%, closing at $635.00 per short ton.

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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 ($136.84) and a low price of CNY 830.00 ($135.21) per dry metric ton. The price of Chinese HRC held steady at CNY 3,030 ($493.60) per metric ton. The price of Chinese coking coal continues hovering around CNY 1,390 ($226.44) per metric ton for the fifth day in a row.

For the fifth consecutive day, the cash price of steel billet held flat on the LME at $450.00 per metric ton. The steel billet 3-month price saw little movement on the LME at $455.00 per metric ton.

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