Tag: raw steels

MetalMiner IndX: Bulls Keep Running in March Price Trends Report

Our March price trends report, which analyzes the entire month of February’s price data from the MetalMiner IndX, shows robust price increases in metals markets that are still running with the bulls.
March Price Trends
Our Stainless MMI led the pack, increasing 6.8%, but the copper, raw steels, aluminum and rare earths sub-indexes all showed strong gains, as well.
One area of concern this month is that oil prices have fallen back below $50 per barrel as U.S.
shale producers beat expectations by adding 8.2 million barrels to existing reserves. Low oil
prices would benefit metals producers by keeping energy and transportation costs lower, but
they also may drag down other commodities with them.
We don’t usually see investment metals such as platinum and gold increasing at the same time
as base metals, either, but positive sentiment about the economy had both increasing this month. So, until we see anything that points otherwise, a rising tide is still lifting all the (metals) boats.
[download-button url=”https://agmetalminer.com/monthly-report-price-index-trends-march-2017/” target=”blank”] Get the March 2017 Metal Price Trends Report[/download-button]

Raw Steels MMI Inches Up, But Can The Price Hikes Stick?

Steel prices have been on a tear since November. However, prices came under pressure in early February.
Benchmark Your Current Steel Price by Grade, Shape and Alloy: See How it Stacks Up
After having lost some ground over the past month, U.S. steel companies now seem to be pushing for another round of price hikes. But, can U.S. steel prices rise from current levels?

Production Rises

In February, new findings by Greenpeace East Asia and Chinese consultancy Custeel stated that despite China’s high-profile efforts to tackle overcapacity, China’s operating steel capacity increased in 2016, according to Reuters. The report “suggests that 73% of the announced cuts in capacity were already idle — in other words the plants were not operating. Only 23 million metric tons of cut capacity involved shutting down production plants that were operating,” according to the Washington Post. For 2016, China saw a net increase of 37 mmt of operating capacity, according to the Greenpeace East Asia/Custeel report.
Raw Steels MMI
According to data released by the World Steel Association, China’s January steel production rose 7.4% to 67 mmt while global steel production rose 7% from a year ago.

Metal Prices Bounced Upward (Mostly) in the October MMI

Our monthly MMI saw a boost in October as three metals tied for the biggest gain and markets seemed to tighten as manufacturers started to make decisions for their end of year and early 2017 spending.

MM-IndX_TRENDS_Chart_October2016_FNL-TOPVALUE100

There seemed to be a Q4 tightening across most of the metal markets we follow. Sure, the Rare Earths and Renewables MMIs were flat as a board yet again, but Copper, Aluminum, Stainless and Raw Steels all saw strong gains. Our Global Precious MMI gained again but almost immediately suffered a pullback after talk of a Federal Reserve interest rate hike in December and renewed strength from the U.S. dollar.

MetalMiner Price Benchmarking: Current and Historical Prices for the Metals You Buy

As always, we exercise caution when buying. Today’s gain could be tomorrow’s loss.

[download-button url=”https://agmetalminer.com/monthly-report-price-index-trends-october-2016″] Free Download: Price Trends in the October MMI Report[/download-button]

Monthly MMI: Metal Prices Fell Backward Last Month

The industrial metals complex saw prices slip nearly across the board in August as volatility
returned to stock markets and investors lost confidence in central banks’ ability to increase
growth.

MM-IndX_TRENDS_Chart_September2016_FNL-TOPVALUE100

Even the vaunted Global Precious MMI, which has enjoyed large gains this year due to safe
haven status, dropped this month. It experienced a 4.5% loss. Our Construction MMI and the Grain-Oriented Electrical Steel MMI indexes saw increases this month, but every other sub-index either saw a 2-5% loss or held flat.

MetalMiner Price Benchmarking: Current and Historical Prices for the Metals You Buy

This was somewhat expected as metals such as steel and aluminum remain in a global oversupply situation and metal prices don’t move in a straight line. They zig-zag. Our metal price benchmarking service has thousands of transaction prices to reference as evidence of that.This could be merely a one-month correction or it might signal that the weakness in metals markets is finally denting the bull run of strong price performers such as gold and platinum. Stay tuned next month for more.

[download-button url=”https://agmetalminer.com/monthly-report-price-index-trends-september-2016″] Free Download: Price Trends in the September MMI Report[/download-button]

The July MMI Report: A Final Word Before We Exit Brexit

Six little letters have dominated the political and economic news cycle over the past month or so: BREXIT. While the long-term effects of Britain’s vote to exit the European Union won’t be felt for awhile, the surprising result has already roiled global markets, including commodities in general and metals specifically.

Two-Month Trial: Metal Buying Outlook

Our biggest winner of the Monthly MMI series, the Global Precious Metals MMI, gained the most from June to July, primarily driven by gold prices (themselves driven by near-term investor moves over to safe-haven assets brought on by the Brexit vote).

MM-IndX_TRENDS_Chart_July2016_FNL-TOPVALUE100

Some have indirect Brexit connections, such as our Renewables MMI and the consequences of the U.K. announcing it won’t make E.U. 2020 climate reduction goals… which it won’t need to if it completes its exit before 2020 (likely). Others, like our GOES MMI, were not affected at all.

The value of the U.S. dollar, China’s import/export activity, and international trade cases (especially those in the ferrous realm should continue to be watched by industrial metal buyers during these dog days of summer. However, we wish our British colleagues well in these politically uncertain times and offer our recent webinar to help them navigate the newly choppy purchasing waters.

[download-button url=”https://agmetalminer.com/monthly-report-price-index-trends-july-2016″] Free Download the July MMI Report[/download-button]

Construction MMI Flattens Out in July, Labor Shortage Affecting Spending

The Construction MMI held steady at 66 in July, as spending remains stubbornly low during the traditionally strong East Coast construction season.

Two-Month Trial: Metal Buying Outlook

Construction spending during May reached a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $1,143.3 billion, 0.8% below the revised April estimate of $1,152.4 billion, but 2.8% above the May 2015 estimate of $1,112.2 billion, according to data from the U.S. Census Bureau. Construction spending in the first five months of this year, construction totaled $438.5 billion, which is 8.2% higher than the $405.4 billion for the same period in 2015.

Construction_Chart_July_2016_FNL

It’s difficult to quantify the lack of spending increases in what outwardly looks like a robust U.S. construction sector.

Spending Struggles to Stand Pat

Residential construction was at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $451.9 billion in May, virtually unchanged from the revised April estimate of $451.7 billion, while nonresidential construction was at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $407.4 billion in May, a mere 0.7% dip from the revised April estimate of $410.1 billion.

Ken Simonson, chief economist at Associated General Contractors of America, a construction industry trade group, noted that the latest data affirms complaints that contractors are having an increasingly hard time finding skilled workers to hire.

“Mild winter weather in many regions early in 2016, followed by extreme rains in some locations in May, has probably distorted monthly spending patterns but shouldn’t mask the robust widespread growth in demand for construction so far this year,” Simonson said. “It appears there will be plenty of activity in the remainder of 2016 — if contractors can find the workers they need.”

We have, indeed, documented the lack of skilled labor in the U.S. market for more than two years now. Labor costs are increasing so much that they are outstripping the savings many general contractors had captured from low commodity prices for construction products. While it’s true that many are also cutting costs by using more efficient construction methods, the drop in spending is still highly concerning since most sectors look like they should be growing with strong demand and, supposedly, lots of design work on the boards.

Chinese Spending Grows

There is, however, good news from abroad. In China, the Caixin/Markit services purchasing managers’ index for June rose to 52.7 from 51.2 in May on a seasonally adjusted basis. Readings above 50 indicate an expansion on a monthly basis, while readings below signal contraction.

Free Download: Compare Prices With The June 2016 MMI Report

Beijing has fast-tracked planned infrastructure spending this year to boost growth, and a strong run-up in housing prices as buying restrictions were loosened helped turn around a slowdown in property development. Like many of our sub-indexes this month, it will be interesting to see what effect the U.K.’s vote to leave the European Union has on construction prices when markets have had a month to settle.

MetalMiner’s July Metal Buying Outlook Now Available

Monthly Metal July_Final-220Read all about the implications of Brexit and other recent developments for metals markets in our July Monthly Metal Buying Outlook.

Our Monthly Metal Buying Outlook allows you to receive short- and long-term buying strategies with specific price thresholds. If you would like to trial our metal price forecast, click below to get two free months of reports.

[download-button url=”https://agmetalminer.com/metalminer-monthly-metal-buying-outlook-2-month-free-trial/”] Two-Month Trial: Metal Buying Outlook [/download-button]

June MMI Suffers a Great Correction… Or Did it?

While nearly all of the metals markets we track were up in May, our June MMI has experienced what’s believed to be a broad market correction that has touched nearly every metal (only the specialized and range-bound Rare Earths MMI saw an increase this month).

MM-IndX_TRENDS_Chart_June2016_FNL-TOPVALUE100

The Automotive MMI was our second-biggest “winner,” thanks to holding its value from last month. The biggest loser was our Construction MMI, which fell nearly 10% as construction products such as rebar and copper tubing saw heavy losses.

Correction Drivers

Two factors dragged metal prices down in May: The Chinese government softened expectations of further stimulus while fighting speculation by increasing margins and fees for trading. Second, in the beginning of the month the U.S. dollar strengthened amid new expectations that the Federal Reserve might be more aggressive than previously thought in raising interest rates, but that quickly changed late in the game after a disastrous jobs report and the dollar is now falling again.

Chief Forecasting Analyst Raul de Frutos sees this movement as “a normal reaction as prices zigzag, and we don’t see enough evidence to turn bearish (on metals) yet.”

Two-Month Trial: Metal Buying Outlook

We are now very much back in a wait-and-see period, expecting a bounce back in prices, but also very understanding of the weakness many of the markets we track still face thanks to oversupply and waning stimulus in China.

U.S. Steel prices, however, are separating themselves from what’s happening in world markets as anti-dumping and countervailing duties orders have taken root.

[download-button url=”https://agmetalminer.com/monthly-report-price-index-trends-june-2016/”]The June MMI Report[/download-button]

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