The outlook for China’s steel market has improved slightly, with expectations of new orders rising and steel output tipped to stay at November levels, according to the latest Platts China Steel Sentiment Index, which shows a headline reading of 37.39 out of a possible 100 points in December.
Although the December index is up 11.77 points from 25.61 in November, it marks the 6th consecutive month the headline index was below 50 points. The CSSI reflects expectations of market participants for the month ahead. Similar to a purchasing managers’ index, a CSSI reading above 50 indicates an increase/expansion and a reading below 50 indicates a decrease/contraction.
The day’s biggest mover was Chinese HRC, dropping 6.6% to settle at CNY 2,950 ($479.40) per metric ton on Friday, December 5. Chinese slab was down 4.4% from the previous market day, closing at CNY 3,203 ($520.52) per metric ton. The price of Chinese coking coal remained steady at CNY 1,080 ($175.51) per metric ton. The price of iron ore 58% fines from India hit a high price of CNY 840.00 ($136.51) and a low price of CNY 840.00 ($136.51) per dry metric ton.
For the fifth consecutive day, the steel billet cash price held flat on the LME at $500.00 per metric ton. For the fifth day in a row, the steel billet 3-month price remained essentially flat on the LME at $480.00 per metric ton.
The US HRC futures contract 3-month price remained essentially flat at $625.00 per short ton. After dropping for two days, the US HRC futures contract spot price flattened at $626.00.