Steel Prices Mostly Fall Ahead of Christmas

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Coiled steel for import

The majority of US sheet steel buyers remained on the sidelines Tuesday ahead of the Christmas and New Year holidays, further weighing down prices, Platts reported.

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At least some buyers, however, were hopeful that a combination of improved first-quarter demand and low inventories will soon push buyers back into the market.

Chinese HRC saw a 5.2% increase on Wednesday, December 24, reaching CNY 3,060 ($491.60) per metric ton and making it the biggest upwards shift of the day. Chinese slab finished the day up 2.3% to CNY 3,070 ($493.21) per metric ton. For the fifth consecutive day, the price of Chinese coking coal held flat at CNY 1,080 ($173.51) per metric ton. The price of iron ore 58% fines from India hit a high price of CNY 840.00 ($134.95) and a low price of CNY 840.00 ($134.95) per dry metric ton.

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The steel billet cash price held steady on the LME at $500.00 per metric ton. For the fifth day in a row, the 3-month price of steel billet remained essentially flat on the LME at $480.00 per metric ton.

The 3-month price of the US HRC futures contract was unchanged at $606.00 per short ton. The spot price of the US HRC futures contract remained essentially flat at $605.00 per short ton.

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