As the year draws to a close, let’s take a look back at the MetalMiner stories that proved to be most popular with readers this year, starting with carbon steel.
As with metals as a whole, steel prices experienced a rocky 2020 after the onset of the coronavirus pandemic. This year, however, proved a different story, as U.S. steel prices experienced a nearly uninterrupted ascent, which only came to an end in October.
The coronavirus pandemic slammed metals demand overall, including steel demand, in 2020. The automotive industry idled production at the end of Q1 and into Q2 2020, severely denting demand. However, eventually automakers restarted lines and demand returned. Automakers continue to face supply shortages, however, which has contributed to low inventory and capped sales.
In August 2020, U.S. steel prices began a rise that only came to an end in October 2021. Hot rolled coil prices, for example, surged to around $1,930 per short ton in October, according to MetalMiner Insights data. HRC prices remain elevated but have since declined, falling to $1,697 per short ton last week.
The emergence of the omicron variant in recent weeks has cast a pall over global markets, as several European countries reinstituted lockdown measures amid surging infection rates.
On the policy front, President Joe Biden signed the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act in November. The bill, which includes $550 billion for infrastructure improvements, should boost demand for metals, generally. However, that boost is not likely to materialize immediately.
With that, let’s take a look back at the most-viewed carbon steel stories of the year on MetalMiner.
Stop obsessing about the actual forecasted steel price. It’s more important to spot the trend.
Most-viewed carbon steel stories of the year on MetalMiner
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