iron ore price

The day’s biggest mover on our steel price index on June 13, 2012 was the cash price of steel billet which dropped by 7.4 percent to close at $314 per metric ton on the LME. The steel billet 3-month price on the LME has been on the decline for seven days and is now at $315 per metric ton.

(Given the latest LME data as of this writing, prices have since rebounded to the higher $300 per ton range.)

But the drop in the LME billet contract still gives cause for concern in the steel markets.

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Profit margins of Indian steel companies may remain under pressure for the next few months, even as steel producers have urged the government to provide them export incentives to help battle overseas competition.

Cheap imports notwithstanding, steel companies currently face pressure on several other fronts including the one imposed by the largely falling rupee vis-a-vis the US dollar. A slowdown in sector growth due to lower demand by automobile and manufacturing sectors has also added to the woes of producers.

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The day’s biggest mover on our steel price index was the steel billet cash price which dropped by 2.9 percent on June 12, 2012 to close at $339 per metric ton on the LME. Also on the LME, the 3-month price of steel billet declined 2.9 percent to $340 per metric ton.

This comes after clients told the LME to review and overhaul the way the LME billet contract works, due to disgruntlement over slow delivery times and the disconnect between physical and futures steel prices, according to Reuters.

Chinese steel and raw materials, including coking coal and iron ore prices, were flat for the day.

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On June 11, 2012, the day’s biggest mover on our steel price index was the LME cash price of steel billet, which saw a 2.8 percent decline to $349 per metric ton. Also on the LME, the 3-month price of steel billet declined 2.8 percent to $350 per metric ton.

Chinese steel closed mixed on Monday. The high and low prices of iron ore 58% fines from India ranged between $125 and $130 per dry metric ton. The price of Chinese HRC fell 0.2 percent on Monday while the price of Chinese coking coal held steady.

The 3-month price of US HRC futures contract remained essentially flat at $630 per short ton. The US HRC futures contract spot price held steady around $628 per short ton.

On June 8, 2012, the day’s biggest mover on our steel price index was the LME steel billet 3-month price, which saw a 9.9 percent decline to $360 per metric ton. After two changeless days, the cash price of steel billet fell 7.8 percent on the LME to $359 per metric ton.

Chinese steel prices were flat for the day, but iron ore prices dipped below their usual range.

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The week’s biggest mover on the Raw Steels MMI® was the steel billet cash price, which saw a 4.9 percent decline on the LME to $390 per metric ton. Last week marked the fourth week in a row of declining prices for the metal. At $400 per metric ton, the steel billet 3-month price finished the week down 2.7 percent on the LME.

Chinese steel prices were flat for the week, but US HRC futures and the shredded scrap price saw movement.

The high and low prices of iron ore 58% fines from India ranged between $130 to $135 per dry metric ton. Holding above $650 per metric ton, the price of Chinese HRC did not change since the previous week. Chinese coking coal remained essentially flat from the previous week, while Chinese slab traded sideways, hovering above $630 per metric ton.

Closing out the third week of declining prices, the US HRC futures contract spot price dropped by 4.8 percent, finishing at $630 per short ton. The 3-month price of US HRC futures contract fell two percent last week, settling at $642 per short ton. US shredded scrap saw a 0.5 percent decline over the past week.

Korean steel prices were flat for the week. Closing between $375-$400 per metric ton, Korean steel scrap remained unchanged for the week. Following a steady week, prices for Korean pig iron closed flat as well.

The Raw Steels MMI® collects and weights 13 global steel and raw material price points to provide a unique view into global steel price trends. For more information on the Raw Steels MMI®, how it’s calculated or how your company can use the index, please drop us a note at: info (at) agmetalminer (dot) com.

The monthly Construction MMI® registered a value of 93 in June, a decrease of seven percent from 100 in May.

The Construction MMI® had held steady since the beginning of this year, but fell this past month along with all of the other MMI® index values. The Construction MMI® baseline began on January 1, 2012, with a reading of 100. This report serves as the first public release of this data.

Source: MetalMiner IndX℠

For more commentary and the drivers of this month’s index decline, click below.

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The week’s biggest mover on this week’s Construction MMI® was the weekly US Gulf Coast bar fuel surcharge, which saw a 4.1 percent decline. The weekly US Midwest bar fuel surcharge fell 3.9 percent from the previous week as well. Also, the weekly US Rocky Mountain bar fuel surcharge declined 2.4 percent since last week.

Chinese steel and US scrap prices saw some movement, however.

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On June 5, 2012, the day’s biggest mover on our steel price index was the 3-month price of US HRC futures, which saw a 1.2 percent decline to $642 per short ton. The spot price of US HRC futures contract held steady on Tuesday, remaining around $630 per short ton.

Chinese steel prices and raw materials prices were mostly flat for the day, following a general dip over the past month.

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The monthly Raw Steels MMI® registered a value of 95 in June, a decrease of four percent from 99 in May.

The Raw Steels MMI® had held fairly steady between March 1 and May 1, but fell this past month along with all of the other MMI® index values. The Raw Steels MMI® baseline began on January 1, 2012 with a reading of 100. This report serves as the first public release of this data.

Source: MetalMiner IndX℠

“For industrial buying organizations attempting to better understand the cost of steel products, this Raw Steels MMI® report covers the global raw material price trends impacting steel producers,” said Lisa Reisman, managing editor of MetalMiner. “Only by analyzing these input costs from a variety of global price drivers can a buying organization assemble a cost model reflective of the underlying price trends that most directly correlate to steel prices.”

“Steel held up comparatively well,” Reisman continued, “yet the European and Chinese slowdowns have had an impact on steel pricing; demand has started to slow in the US as well. We’ll need to see if this is a one-month market blip or a longer trend.”

The Drivers for the Steel Price Index Decrease

After falling 20.2 percent, the steel billet 3-month price finished the month on the LME at $387 per metric ton. The cash price of LME steel billet fell 17.4 percent over the past month to $385 per metric ton. A 7.6 percent decline for Chinese slab left the price at between $625 and $650 per metric ton. The price of Chinese billet fell 4.4 percent, while the US HRC futures contract 3-month price ended the month at $650 per short ton. Last month, US shredded scrap prices dropped by 0.9 percent.

On the other side of the steel coin, Korean steel scrap shifted up 2.3 percent last month. The US HRC futures contract spot price rose a slight 0.8 percent over the past month to $660 per short ton.

Last month was consistent for Chinese coking coal, which did not move. Korean pig iron also remained unchanged.

The Raw Steels MMI® collects and weights 13 global steel and raw material price points to provide a unique view into global steel price trends over a 30-day period. MetalMiner will publish the monthly MMI® reports during the first week of the month, every month. Paid subscribers have access to all the data on the first of the month and can also obtain the actual price points for constituent elements that comprise the Raw Steels MMI®.

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For more information on the Raw Steels MMI®, how it’s calculated or how your company can use the index, please drop us a note at: info (at) agmetalminer (dot) com.

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