Articles in Category: Ferrous Metals

Before we head into the weekend, let’s take a look back at the week that was and the metals news here on MetalMiner, including iron ore volatility, rare earths production quotas in China and much more:

bulk cargo iron ore

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Week of May 31-June 4 (iron ore volatility, rare earths quotas and more)

Each month, MetalMiner hosts a webinar on a specific metals topic. Explore the upcoming webinars and sign up for each on the MetalMiner Events page.

Hot rolled coil prices in Western Europe have not slowed their upward trek over the past month. Demand continues to outstrip supply for the flat-rolled product, industry watchers said June 1.

“It has everything to do with high demand in Europe and the United States,” one trader told MetalMiner.

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Rising hot rolled coil prices

hot-rolled coil steel

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Sources confirmed prices for hot rolled coil at €1,120-1,130 ($1,370-1,385) per metric ton exw for rolling and delivery into Q4. That compares with hot rolled coil prices of €1,000-1,020 ($1,225-1,250) in May.

Cold rolled coil is now carrying a premium of €125 ($150) per ton over HRC, sources indicated.

The auto and construction sectors are behind the high demand, one source said.

New registrations for passenger vehicles within the European Union rose by 218.6% year over year in April to approximately 862,226 units from 270,651 units, the European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association (ACEA) stated on May 19.

Restrictions from the COVID-19 pandemic in April 2020 were the main reason behind the increase, however, the association noted.

“Indeed, despite this big percentage increase, last month’s sales volume was almost 300,000 units lower than that recorded in April 2019,” ACEA added.

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China’s increased appetite for iron ore has become a problem for neighbor India.

In the first four months of 2021, ore exports from India increased by 66% to 22.42 million tons (MT). As much as 90% of this went to China, according to Business Today.

Each month, MetalMiner hosts a webinar on a specific metals topic. Explore the upcoming webinars and sign up for each on the MetalMiner Events page.

India’s iron ore problem

India iron ore barge

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China is the largest consumer of iron ore. The country imports about 70% of the world’s production. Last year, it imported a record 1.17 billion tons.

The spike in iron ore exports is becoming a problem for Indian steelmakers, as they are struggling to get this critical raw material. Some have now demanded that the government ban iron ore exports from India.

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Before we head into the weekend, let’s take a look back at the week that was here on MetalMiner, which included coverage of the Section 232 tariffs, the recent metals price pullback, China’s warning to commodity speculators and much more:

Each month, MetalMiner hosts a webinar on a specific metals topic. Explore the upcoming webinars and sign up for each on the MetalMiner Events page.

Week of May 24-28 (Section 232 tariffs, price pullback and more)

tariffs overlaid on US currency

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The MetalMiner Best Practice Library offers a wealth of knowledge and tips to help buyers stay on top of metals markets and buying strategies.

Global crude steel production dipped to 169.5 million metric tons in April, down slightly from the previous month, the World Steel Association reported this month.

Production in March had reached 170.1 million metric tons. Meanwhile, April output increased 23.3% year over year, up from 137.5 million metric tons in April 2020.

Each month, MetalMiner hosts a webinar on a specific metals topic. Explore the upcoming webinars and sign up for each on the MetalMiner Events page.

Chinese steel production rises

Steel production

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Although global steel production backtracked slightly in April from the previous month, Chinese steel production increased.

The Chinese steel sector churned out 97.9 million metric tons, up from 94 million metric tons in March. Meanwhile, April output increased by 13.4% year over year.

Steel producers in China — and around the world — have benefited from soaring prices. Furthermore, earlier this month, Chinese steelmakers bumped up prices to account for significant rises in iron ore prices.

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This morning in metals news: Chinese steel prices have plunged early this week following Beijing’s weekend warning to commodity speculators; MetalMiner is hosting its monthly webinar tomorrow, May 27, at 11:30 a.m. CDT; and the US Census Bureau released data on April steel imports.

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Chinese steel prices fall

China steel production

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As we noted earlier this week, the Chinese government over the weekend issued a warning to commodity speculators in an effort to restore “normal market order.”

Several Chinese steel prices have taken significant falls early this week. The Chinese steel slab price fell from 6,340 CNY ($992) per metric ton to 5,350 CNY ($837).

Meanwhile, Chinese steel plate dipped from 6,810 CNY ($1,066) to 5,850 CNY ($915). Steel rebar plunged from 5,570 CNY ($872) to 4,950 CNY ($775). Meanwhile, H-beam steel fell from 6,070 CNY ($950) to 5,360 CNY ($839).

Historically, Chinese steel prices lead US steel prices. As such, steel buyers will want to continue to monitor prices for any indications of retrenchment in the US steel market.

MetalMiner webinar on Thursday, May 27

Speaking of falling prices, MetalMiner is hosting its next webinar tomorrow (Thursday, May 27) at 11:30 a.m. CDT.

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China’s “zero tolerance” warning to commodity speculators over the weekend sent prices of some metals and iron ore tumbling.

A meeting held on Sunday between at least five government departments, including the the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), concluded that the fight against hoarders and speculators leading to soaring commodities prices would be taken to the next level.

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Beijing aims to control runaway prices, warns commodity speculators

China map

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Bloomberg reported the government had also threatened severe punishment for violators indulging in excessive speculation and fake news in the trading of commodities including iron ore, steel and copper.

The NDRC summoned top metals producers to the meeting in Beijing.

Let’s not forget that China is the largest consumer of some of these commodities, like iron ore and copper. The prices of these commodities have surged this year, as the global economy partially recovered from the COVID-19 pandemic. In turn, that has led to renewed demand for manufactured goods.

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This morning in metals news: the US steel capacity utilization rate reached 79.0% last week; the state-owned Indonesia Battery Corporation and South Korea’s LG will build a $1.2 billion battery plant in Indonesia; and the copper price has cooled since reaching an all-time high earlier this month.

Each month, MetalMiner hosts a webinar on a specific metals topic. Explore the upcoming webinars and sign up for each on the MetalMiner Events page.

US steel capacity utilization rate at 79.0%

hot rolled steel

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US steel capacity utilization reached 79.0% for the week ending May 22, the American Iron and Steel Institute (AISI) reported.

The rate marked a decline from 79.2% posted the previous week. Meanwhile, the rate for the same week in 2020 had reached just 54.6%.

Production during the week ending May 22 totaled 1,793,000 net tons, down 0.3% from the previous week. However, the output total marked an increase of 46.6% on a year-over-year basis.

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The phrase “be careful what you wish for” is often used by those who smirk at an unexpected outcome from a decision.

But some in the British Conservative party’s so-called Red Wall – those former Labour or center-left voters who swung behind the Conservative, or center-right, party in supporting Britain’s departure from Europe — must be wondering why the land of milk and honey is not by now the norm.

The industrial middle and north of England overwhelmingly voted for Brexit, as it quickly became termed. Those voters narrowly swinged the vote in favor of leaving, over the wishes of London, the southeast, Wales and Scotland.

But those same voters are increasingly facing several changes that threaten their livelihoods.

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Protectionism and UK steel

First up is a preliminary decision by the UK Department for International Trade to remove a number of products from so-called import “safeguards” adopted from Britain legacy rules in the European Union. The safeguards aimed to protect domestic producers from cheap imports.

The system sets quarterly quotas for steel products that come in with nominal duty. When the country reaches the quota, a massive 25% tariff comes into play to dissuade larger volumes.

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Before we head into the weekend, let’s take a look back at the week that was and the metals storylines here on MetalMiner, including copper price developments, an upcoming MetalMiner webinar and more:

The MetalMiner Best Practice Library offers a wealth of knowledge and tips to help buyers stay on top of metals markets and buying strategies.

copper mine

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Week of May 17-21 (copper prices, MetalMiner webinar and more)

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