Morningstar: 2015 Will Be a Difficult Year for the US Steel Sector, Steel Billet Drops 3.6%

With US GDP, construction spending, and industrial activity all on the upswing, one might think that 2015 is shaping up to be a banner year for the steel sector.

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However, with weak crude prices undercutting demand from the energy sector and a wave of imports washing ashore, that’s unlikely to be the case. Morningstar‘s Andrew Lane expects 2015 to mark a cyclical trough as spot prices fall and capacity utilization remains unfavorable.

The steel billet cash price saw the biggest decline of the day, dropping 3.6% on the LME to close at $400.00 per metric ton on Friday, February 20. The steel billet 3-month price saw a 1.2% decline on the LME to $400.00 per metric ton.

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Chinese steel prices closed flat for the day. The price of iron ore 58% fines from India hit a high price of CNY 450.00 ($71.93) and a low price of CNY 445.00 ($71.13) per dry metric ton. The price of Chinese HRC remained essentially flat at CNY 2,490 ($398.01) per metric ton. The price of Chinese coking coal saw little movement at CNY 1,080 ($172.63) per metric ton.

US HRC futures contract 3 month saw its price drop 1.5% to a 30-day low of $525.00 per short ton last Friday. The US HRC futures contract spot price saw little change in its price last Friday at $530.00 per short ton.

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