Imports Leading to Cuts in US Domestic Steel Production

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Large volumes of steel imports, together with collapsing oil prices, have led to cuts in US domestic steel production. However, these have not been sufficient to stem the continual, month-on-month, decline in flat product transaction values.

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Buyers are reluctant to make large purchases as figures trend downwards, Commodities Now reports. The volumes of unsold foreign material at the docks are climbing. Some of this steel is now priced above current domestic levels as local steelmakers have responded to the import threat.

On Tuesday, February 24, the day’s biggest mover was the steel billet 3-month price, which saw a 1.4% increase on the LME to $375.00 per metric ton. This increase comes after the price fell for the two previous days. Following a 1.4% rise yesterday, the cash price of steel billet closed on the LME at $375.00 per metric 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 450.00 ($71.91) and a low price of CNY 445.00 ($71.11) per dry metric ton. The price of Chinese HRC continues hovering around CNY 2,490 ($397.91) per metric ton for the fifth day in a row. The price of Chinese coking coal saw essentially no change for the fifth day in a row, remaining around CNY 1,080 ($172.59) per metric ton.

The 3-month price of the US HRC futures contract flattened at $519.00 per short ton after two days of downward movement. The spot price of the US HRC futures contract showed little movement on Tuesday at $530.00 per short ton.

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