steel price index

Reliance Steel saw its profit climb in fourth-quarter 2014 on the back of higher pricing and improved demand across most end-markets. The California-based metals processor logged profit of $92.3 million or $1.18 per share in the quarter, a 49.4% jump from $61.8 million or 79 cents per share registered a year ago.

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Barring one-time items including costs related to antitrust litigation and gains on acquisition and divestments of non-core assets, earnings were $1.01 per share.

The steel billet cash price closed Thursday, February 19 at $415.00 per metric ton, halting its three-day flat run on the LME with a 14.4% drift. The 3-month price of steel billet fell 12.9% on Thursday on the LME to $405.00 per metric ton.

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Chinese steel prices closed flat for the day. The price of iron ore 58% fines from India hit a high price of CNY 450.00 ($71.96) and a low price of CNY 445.00 ($71.16) per dry metric ton. The price of Chinese HRC showed little movement yesterday at CNY 2,490 ($398.16) per metric ton. The price of Chinese coking coal saw essentially no change for the fifth day in a row, remaining around CNY 1,080 ($172.70) per metric ton.

US HRC futures contract 3 month saw its price drop 0.4% to a 30-day low of $533.00 per short ton on Thursday. The spot price of the US HRC futures contract saw little price change on Thursday at $530.00 per short ton.

Scrap steel has been plummeting for most of this year and the past week was no exception. MetalMiner contributor James May explains what could be the reason for the continued freefall.

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The US is a net exporter of ferrous scrap. What that means is that when international prices decline, there is an excess of material available in the US market. Exporters choose to sell to the domestic yards instead and prices therefore slide.

Chinese steel prices were mixed for the week. The price of iron ore 58% fines from India hit a high price of CNY 450.00 ($71.93) and a low price of CNY 445.00 ($71.13) per dry metric ton. The price of Chinese HRC fell 0.8% over the past week to CNY 2,490 ($397.99) per metric ton. This was the third week in a row of declining prices. Prices for Chinese coking coal remained constant, closing the week at CNY 1,080 ($172.62) per metric ton. Closing at CNY 2,460 ($393.20) per metric ton, Chinese slab remained unchanged for the week.

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This week, the 3-month price of steel billet finished at $465.00 per metric ton on the LME after falling 3.1%. Also on the LME, the cash price of steel billet declined 3.0% to $485.00 per metric ton.

Korean steel prices were flat for the week. Korean steel scrap traded sideways last week, hovering around KRW 149,000 ($135.59) per metric ton. At KRW 530,000 ($482.30) per metric ton, the week finished with no movement for Korean pig iron.

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.

Esmark Inc.‘s bid to take over a former U.S. Steel plant in Serbia fell apart this week when the Serbian government announced that it could not come to final terms with the Edgeworth, Pa.-based steel processor and distributor.

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The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reported that Serbian Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic said in a statement that officials wanted a guarantee that “Esmark would not spend all the raw materials and just leave Serbia with an explanation that there is no favorable market.”

On Wednesday, February 18, the day’s biggest mover was the US HRC futures contract spot price, which saw a 0.4% decline to $530.00 per short ton. The US HRC futures contract 3-month price held steady around $535.00 per short ton.

* Get the complete prices every day on the MetalMiner IndX℠

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 ($71.93) and a low price of CNY 445.00 ($71.13) per dry metric ton. The price of Chinese HRC showed little movement on Wednesday at CNY 2,490 ($397.99) per metric ton. The price of Chinese coking coal continues hovering around CNY 1,080 ($172.62) per metric ton for the fifth day in a row.

The cash price of steel billet showed little movement on Wednesday on the LME at $485.00 per metric ton. On the LME, the 3-month price of steel billet saw little change in its price on Wednesday at $465.00 per metric ton.

Reuters’ Andy Home writes that  China, the engine of global steel production and consumption, was not supposed to have reached the stage of “peaking and flattening” yet.

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But Zhang Guangning, chairman of the China Iron & Steel Association, (CISA) told the Association’s annual conference in January that “China’s steel sector has already entered a period of peaking and flattening out.”

Iron ore miners such as Rio Tinto and BHP Billiton would not have invested billions of dollars in lifting supply, if they thought demand for their product was already topping out.

Sure, a slowdown in the breakneck speed of the Chinese steel juggernaut was expected but “peak steel” certainly wasn’t expected until some time in the next decade.

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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 ($71.99) and a low price of CNY 445.00 ($71.19) per dry metric ton. The price of Chinese HRC held steady at CNY 2,490 ($398.33) per metric ton. The price of Chinese coking coal remained essentially flat at CNY 1,080 ($172.77) per metric ton.

The steel billet cash price remained essentially flat on the LME at $485.00 per metric ton. On the LME, the steel billet 3-month price saw little change in its price on Tuesday at $465.00 per metric ton.

The US HRC futures contract 3-month price saw little movement yesterday, closing out around $535.00 per short ton. The US HRC futures contract spot price showed little movement yesterday, hovering around $532.00 per short ton.

As China’s economy enters a “new normal,” the steel industry faces unprecedented challenges, said Zhang Guangning, who was elected chairman of the China Iron & Steel Association last month.

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Zhang is a life-long steel industry veteran who started his career working at an iron and steel factory in 1971.

“China’s steel production has already hit a peak, or to put it another way, it has hit a turning point,” he told the Financial Times.

He said the industry must shift its focus from expansion to quality and efficiency, adding that it is “currently in its most difficult period, it is the most optimal time for adjustment and upgrading”.

After growing at an average rate of 15% between 2000 and 2013, a peaking of China’s steel production would be a powerful symbol of a shift in the world’s second-largest economy after years of growth based on urbanization and industrialization.

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Chinese steel prices closed flat for the day. The price of iron ore 58% fines from India hit a high price of CNY 450.00 ($72.16) and a low price of CNY 445.00 ($71.35) per dry metric ton. Chinese HRC saw little change in its price last Friday at CNY 2,490 ($399.26) per metric ton. For the fifth consecutive day, the price of Chinese coking coal held flat at CNY 1,080 ($173.17) per metric ton.

After a couple of days of decreasing prices on the LME, the cash price of steel billet held steady at $485.00. The 3-month price of steel billet flattened at $465.00 per metric ton after two days of downward movement on the LME.

The US HRC futures contract 3-month price saw little movement last Friday at $535.00 per short ton. After dropping for two days, the spot price of the US HRC futures contract flattened at $532.00.

The world’s largest steel maker, ArcelorMittal, reported on Friday a $955 million loss for the fourth quarter, highlighting the difficulty of making money in slumping commodities businesses such as steel and iron ore.

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The company’s large mining operations were hit by the sharp fall in iron ore prices, while its North American steel unit also slowed. The Luxembourg-based steelmaker’s write-off of $621 million on its investment in China Oriental, a Chinese steel business, was another big contributor to the loss.

ThyssenKrupp , Europe’s second-largest steelmaker, reported a small profit of €43 million ($48.8 million), for the quarter, compared with a loss of €70 million a year earlier.

Weakening prices ended a three-day flat streak as the 3-month price of steel billet fell 1.0% on Thursday, February 12 on the LME to $475.00 per metric ton. The steel billet cash price fell 1.0% on Thursday on the LME to $495.00 per metric ton after three straight days with no change.

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Chinese steel prices closed flat for the day. The price of iron ore 58% fines from India hit a high price of CNY 450.00 ($72.09) and a low price of CNY 445.00 ($71.28) per dry metric ton. The price of Chinese HRC held steady at CNY 2,510 ($402.07) per metric ton. For the fifth day in a row, the price of Chinese coking coal remained essentially flat at CNY 1,080 ($173.00) per metric ton.

The 3-month price of the US HRC futures contract fell to a 30-day low at $535.00 per short ton after shifting 0.9%. The US HRC futures contract spot price fell 0.4% to a 30-day low of $535.00 per short ton on Thursday.

The world’s big three iron ore miners appear to be entering the final phase of a fight to increase market share in China as massive expansions drive more high-cost rivals out of business, Reuters UK reported.

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The global giants have met stubborn resistance after many big Chinese miners kept producing despite weaker iron ore prices, helping push prices far lower than Rio Tinto, BHP Billiton and Vale SA envisaged when they began to flood the world with ore two years ago.

Cracks are starting to appear in  China’s resilient state-mining sector, where mines can have production costs 20-50% above the market but also employ thousands of workers and are aligned with big steel makers.

One mine in Beijing that produces about 2 million metric tons of iron ore concentrate a year plans to suspend production for one-and-a-half months.

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Chinese steel closed mixed yesterday. The price of iron ore 58% fines from India hit a high price of CNY 450.00 ($72.14) and a low price of CNY 445.00 ($71.33) per dry metric ton. The price of Chinese slab finished the day at CNY 2,460 ($394.34) per metric ton following a 1.2% increase. The price of Chinese HRC showed little movement on Wednesday at CNY 2,510 ($402.35) per metric ton.

The steel billet cash price was unchanged on the LME at $500.00 per metric ton. The 3-month price of steel billet continues hovering around $480.00 per metric ton on the LME for the fifth day in a row.

The 3-month price of the US HRC futures contract reached a 30-day low after decreasing 0.9% to $540.00 per short ton. After falling 0.2% to $537.00 per short ton, the US HRC futures contract spot price reached a 30-day low.

It’s been another flat week for steel prices on the MMI. Austrian steelmaker Voestalpine AG made news this week by talking about a new process to fuse strips of aluminum with steel.

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Deutsche Bank is still confident in the future performance of steel company stocks despite the falling London Metal Exchange prices.

Chinese steel prices were mixed for the week. The price of iron ore 58% fines from India hit a high price of CNY 450.00 ($72.14) and a low price of CNY 445.00 ($71.33) per dry metric ton. Chinese slab gained a slight 2.9% this past week, finishing at CNY 2,460 ($394.34) per metric ton. The price of Chinese HRC fell 2.3% over the past week to CNY 2,510 ($402.35) per metric ton. This was the third week in a row of declining prices. Closing at CNY 1,080 ($173.12) per metric ton, Chinese coking coal remained unchanged for the week.

* Get the complete prices every day on the MetalMiner IndX℠

Following a steady week, prices for on the LME the 3-month price of steel billet closed flat at $480.00 per metric ton. Also on the LME, the cash price of steel billet remained steady from the previous week at $500.00 per metric ton.

Korean steel prices were flat for the week. Korean steel scrap traded sideways last week, hovering around KRW 149,000 ($135.59) per metric ton. Korean pig iron remained essentially flat from the previous week at KRW 530,000 ($482.30) per metric ton.

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.

Austrian steelmaker Voestalpine AG‘s foreign expansion plans, focused on the US automotive market, will not be changed by the weak oil price or the euro, its chief executive told Reuters on Tuesday.

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Voestalpine, which sells steel and steel-based products to the automotive, railway and engineering industries, among others, has targeted the energy sector as one of its key growth areas and until recently had benefited from the US shale boom.

However, a plunge in oil prices since summer 2014 has seen energy firms slash investment plans, hitting their suppliers.

“The oil price is an interesting thing but … experience tells us it tends to be over-interpreted,” Wolfgang Eder told journalists in remarks embargoed for Tuesday. “We expect that things will already turn around again in autumn.”

He said Voestalpine would be able to sell any surplus steel originally destined for the US oil and gas market elsewhere.

Voestalpine plans to invest about 250 million euros ($283 million) in the United States in each of the next two years, mainly in its new sponge-iron plant in Texas, and about 50-100 million euros per year thereafter, Eder said. The expansion is an important part of Voestalpine’s plan to internationalise its business and reduce its dependence on the Austrian market and expensive European energy to power its furnaces.

On Tuesday, February 10, the day’s biggest mover was the price of Chinese HRC, which saw a 2.3% decline to CNY 2,510 ($401.71) per metric ton. This was the first move after three changeless days. The price of Chinese coking coal saw essentially no change for the fifth day in a row, remaining around CNY 1,080 ($172.85) per metric ton. Chinese slab saw little change in its price on Tuesday at CNY 2,430 ($388.91) per metric ton. The price of iron ore 58% fines from India hit a high price of CNY 840.00 ($134.44) and a low price of CNY 840.00 ($134.44) per dry metric ton.

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The cash price of steel billet saw little movement on the LME at $500.00 per metric ton. The steel billet 3-month price held steady on the LME at $480.00 per metric ton.

The US HRC futures contract spot price fell 0.4% to a 30-day low of $538.00 per short ton yesterday. The US HRC futures contract 3-month price held steady around $545.00 per short ton.

Analysts at Deutsche Bank recently updated their outlook on the steel industry now that most steel companies have released fourth quarter earnings. Deutsche Bank lowered its average price targets by 12% due to plunging steel spot prices, but reiterated its buy ratings for three big names in the space.

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Deutsche Bank stress tested its model for a full-year HRC price of $550 per short ton ($25 below its forecast) and found that the average downside in expected EBITDA for the companies it covers is about 19%.

Chinese steel prices were flat for the day. The price of iron ore 58% fines from India hit a high price of CNY 840.00 ($134.59) and a low price of CNY 840.00 ($134.59) per dry metric ton. For the fifth day in a row, the price of Chinese HRC remained essentially flat at CNY 2,570 ($411.79) per metric ton. The price of Chinese coking coal remained essentially flat at CNY 1,080 ($173.05) per metric ton.

The steel billet cash price was unchanged on the LME at $500.00 per metric ton. The 3-month price of steel billet saw essentially no change on the LME for the fifth day in a row, remaining around $480.00 per metric ton.

* Get the complete prices every day on the MetalMiner IndX℠

The US HRC futures contract 3-month price moved yesterday. After a few changeless days, prices dropped 2.7% to $545.00 per short ton. US HRC futures contract spot saw its price drop 0.4% to a 30-day low of $540.00 per short ton yesterday.

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