steel price index

China’s iron ore imports shrank last month from a record high in December as steel mills cut production before a national holiday.

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Overseas purchases in January fell to 78.57 million metric tons, compared with 86.85 million a month earlier and 86.83 million in the previous year, according to data released by the Beijing-based General Administration of Customs on Sunday. Imports averaged 77.71 million tons a month in 2014, when shipments of the raw material used to make steel totaled a record 932.51 million.

Chinese steel prices closed flat for the day. The price of iron ore 58% fines from India hit a high price of CNY 840.00 ($134.33) and a low price of CNY 840.00 ($134.33) per dry metric ton. The price of Chinese HRC remained essentially flat at CNY 2,570 ($411.00) 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 ($172.71) per metric ton.

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

The 3-month price of the US HRC futures contract showed little movement last Friday at $560.00 per short ton. The US HRC futures contract spot price steadied at $542.00 per short ton following two-days of dropping prices.

Tata Steel Ltd. posted a 69% drop in quarterly profit as a raw material shortage curtailed domestic production and a flood of cheap imports hurt profitability in its European and Indian operations.

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A slowdown in China and a devaluation of the Russian ruble have led to a surge in cheaper steel products entering international markets, pressuring steel prices and squeezing Tata’s margins in Europe, its biggest market, and India.

Consolidated net profit fell to 1.57 billion rupees ($25 million) in the 3 months through Dec. 31, the lowest since the second quarter of 2013, from 5.03 billion a year earlier, the Mumbai-based company said in a statement on Friday.

The price of Chinese slab closed Thursday, February 5 at CNY 2,430 ($389.04) per metric ton, halting its two-day flat run with a 1.7% shift. The price of Chinese HRC held steady at CNY 2,570 ($411.45) per metric ton. The price of Chinese coking coal remained essentially flat at CNY 1,080 ($172.91) per metric ton. The price of iron ore 58% fines from India hit a high price of CNY 840.00 ($134.48) and a low price of CNY 840.00 ($134.48) per dry metric ton.

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

For the fifth consecutive day, the cash price of steel billet held flat on the LME at $500.00 per metric ton. The 3-month price of steel billet held steady on the LME at $480.00 per metric ton.

The US HRC futures contract spot price fell 0.9% to a 30-day low of $542.00 per short ton on Thursday. The US HRC futures contract 3-month price remained essentially flat at $560.00 per short ton.

Effective 12/1/14, MetalMiner updated some of the source data from China used to calculate this index. Therefore the December index reading appears a little more volatile when compared to the November reading. Any movements thereafter once again reflect only market price changes as opposed to market and source data prices changes.

The monthly Raw Steels MMI® registered a value of 68 in February, a decrease of 8.1% from 74 in January, an all-time low.

FREE Download: Compare with last month’s steel prices.

Last month we pointed out that the stock prices of steel-related companies were falling dramatically. This usually comes along with declining steel prices as investors know well that earnings for steel producers shrink as steel prices drop.

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China’s steel industry is experiencing a “crisis of confidence” that will affect iron ore prices unless activity picks up after Chinese New Year, according to Morgan Stanley.

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Morgan Stanley is expecting iron ore prices to average $79 a ton this year but said its “increasingly bullish forecast” depends on an expected seasonal lift in China’s steel industry activity.

“How this steel industry responds after Chinese New Year until its summer peak is now critical for iron ore’s 2015 price outlook,” analysts including Tom Price wrote in a February 3 report.

The benchmark price for iron ore fell to fresh lows of below S63 a ton last week, around 20% below Morgan Stanley’s full-year forecast. On Thursday the price fell 0.6% to $62.85 a tonne for 62% ferrous content delivered to Qingdao China.

Morgan Stanley said China’s key steel product prices have fallen as much as 15 per cent since mid-December and are now at lows not seen since the global financial crisis.

The week’s biggest mover on the weekly Raw Steels MMI® was the US HRC futures contract spot price, which saw a 6.2% decline to $547.00 per short ton. Last week marked the fourth in a row of declining prices for the metal. US shredded scrap finished the week at $318.00 per short ton after falling 5.4%. The US HRC futures contract 3-month price fell 2.1% over the past week to $560.00 per short ton. This was the third week in a row of declining prices.

Closing at KRW 149,000 ($136.46) per metric ton on the weekly Raw Steels MMI®, Korean steel scrap finished as the week’s biggest mover with a 11.8% decline. At KRW 530,000 ($485.39) per metric ton, the week finished with no movement for Korean pig iron.

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Chinese steel prices were mixed for the week. The price of iron ore 58% fines from India hit a high price of CNY 840.00 ($134.28) and a low price of CNY 840.00 ($134.28) per dry metric ton. For the third week in a row, the price of Chinese HRC dropped, falling 1.5% to CNY 2,570 ($410.82) per metric ton. At CNY 1,080 ($172.64) per metric ton, the price of Chinese coking coal did not change since the previous week. The price of Chinese slab rose 1.3% to CNY 2,390 ($382.05) per metric ton after falling 4.8% during the previous week.

This past week, the 3-month price of steel billet kept quiet, holding at on the LME at $480.00 per metric ton. Also on the LME, the steel billet cash price traded sideways last week, hovering around $500.00 per metric ton.

Closing out the third week of declining prices, the spot price of the US HRC futures contract dropped by 6.2%, finishing at $547.00 per short ton. US shredded scrap weakened by 5.4% to land at $318.00 per short ton. The 3-month price of the US HRC futures contract fell 2.1% over the past week to $560.00 per short ton. This was the third week in a row of declining prices.

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.

Russian and Chinese steel exports began affecting prices in other markets this week.

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Low ruble prices are forcing Russian manufacturers to try other markets as the recession there continues to drag down prices and production.

On Wednesday, February 4, the day’s biggest mover was the spot price of the US HRC futures contract, which saw a 0.5% decline to $547.00 per short ton. The US HRC futures contract 3-month price held steady around $560.00 per short ton.

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

Chinese steel prices closed flat for the day. The price of iron ore 58% fines from India hit a high price of CNY 840.00 ($134.28) and a low price of CNY 840.00 ($134.28) per dry metric ton. At CNY 2,570 ($410.82) per metric ton, the price of Chinese HRC was essentially unchanged. For the fifth consecutive day, the price of Chinese coking coal held flat at CNY 1,080 ($172.64) per metric ton.

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

Cliffs Natural Resources Inc. plans to join major steelmakers in filing complaints over steel imported into the US, its chief executive said, a move that could increase pressure on the government to add more tariffs on steel products, the Wall Street Journal reported.

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Under chief executive Lourenco Goncalves, who took over last August, Cliffs has been restructuring to focus on 5 profitable iron ore mines in Minnesota and Michigan that sell exclusively to U.S. Steel, ArcelorMittal and other steelmakers with US mills.

Cliffs’ mines are now vulnerable to the sudden slide in steel prices. Most steel experts have attributed, principally, to the collapse in oil prices. As energy companies have pulled back, they have canceled orders for steel pipe.

“The collapse of the steel price is not about the oil price,” Mr. Goncalves said. “The reason is the avalanche of imports.”

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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 840.00 ($134.16) and a low price of CNY 840.00 ($134.16) per dry metric ton. The price of Chinese HRC remained essentially flat at CNY 2,570 ($410.45) per metric ton. The price of Chinese coking coal held steady at CNY 1,080 ($172.49) per metric ton.

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

The 3-month price of the US HRC futures contract saw little change in its price yesterday at $560.00 per short ton. The spot price of the US HRC futures contract flattened at $550.00 per short ton after two days of downward movement.

Chinese iron ore futures rebounded on Tuesday and were on course for their second-biggest daily gain this year, with traders saying some steel mills made a surprising return to the market, sensing that ore prices might be near the bottom.

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Some mills had started restocking even though trading is normally quiet ahead of the Lunar New Year holiday, which falls in mid-February. Some expect iron ore could find support at $60 after losing nearly half its value in 2014.

Chinese steel prices were mixed for the day. The price of iron ore 58% fines from India hit a high price of CNY 840.00 ($134.41) and a low price of CNY 840.00 ($134.41) per dry metric ton. After hitting a 30-day low of CNY 2,570 ($411.23) per metric ton on Thursday, January 29, the price of Chinese HRC rose 1.6% on Monday. Chinese slab gained 1.3% to finish at CNY 2,390 ($382.43) per metric ton.

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

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

The spot price of the US HRC futures contract reached a 30-day low after decreasing 4.7% to $550.00 per short ton. Just off of a 30-day low of $560.00 per short ton, the US HRC futures contract 3-month price rose 1.8% on Monday.

China’s steel futures dropped on Monday, ending 3 sessions of gains after surveys showed the country’s manufacturing activity shrank for the first time in over two years.

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Slowing steel demand during winter in the world’s largest producer also dragged on prices.

The most-traded May rebar contract on the Shanghai Futures Exchange was down 0.4% at 2,489 yuan ($398). The futures price has already fallen 3.7% so far this year.

China’s Purchasing Manager’s Index showed the factory sector unexpectedly shrank for the first time in nearly 2-1/2 years in January, and firms saw more gloom ahead.

Chinese steel prices were mixed for the day. The price of iron ore 58% fines from India hit a high price of CNY 840.00 ($134.49) and a low price of CNY 840.00 ($134.49) per dry metric ton. The price of Chinese HRC fell to a 30-day low at CNY 2,530 ($405.08) per metric ton after shifting 3.1%. Following a 1.3% rise last Friday, the price of Chinese slab closed at CNY 2,360 ($377.86) per metric ton.

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

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

US HRC futures contract 3 month saw its price drop 3.8% to a 30-day low of $550.00 per short ton last Friday. After falling 1.0% to $577.00 per short ton, the US HRC futures contract spot price reached a 30-day low.

Steelmakers AK Steel  and Nucor on Tuesday beat fourth-quarter 2014 expectations, amid rebounds in the auto and construction industries. But concerns persisted about low commodity prices dragged by oversupply.

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AK Steel said earnings per share slid 46% from a year ago to 14 cents, topping analyst views for 7 cents but nonetheless a reflection of lower prices. Revenue jumped 36% to $1.997 billion, edging views for $1.987 billion.

Shipments rose 41% from a year ago and 37% from Q3 to around 2 million tons, lifted by auto-market demand and the acquisition of steel facility Dearborn Works from Russian steel company Severstal, AK Steel said.

Nucor’s fourth-quarter EPS spiked 46% to 65 cents, beating views by a dime. But revenue missed targets, rising 2% to $5 billion. Nucor shipped more than 6 million tons in Q4, a 1% increase from a year ago but an 11% drop from the third quarter. Average sales prices per ton rose 1% from a year ago but fell 2% from Q3.

Steel mill utilization rates rose to 76% in the quarter vs. 75% a year ago, but fell from 81% in the third quarter. The company attributed the drop from Q3 to seasonality. The colder winter season can slow the pace of construction. Nucor also said the acquisition of the Gallatin Steel “contributed profitable performance” during the quarter.

The company said that Q1 2015 earnings would fall vs. Q4 “to a level slightly exceeding the first quarter of 2014.”

Chinese slab had the largest decline on Thursday, January 29, dropping 1.3% and landing at CNY 2,330 ($373.10) per metric ton. The price of Chinese HRC remained steady at CNY 2,610 ($417.94) per metric ton. For the fifth consecutive day, the price of Chinese coking coal held flat at CNY 1,080 ($172.94) per metric ton. The price of iron ore 58% fines from India hit a high price of CNY 840.00 ($134.51) and a low price of CNY 840.00 ($134.51) per dry metric ton.

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

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

The US HRC futures contract 3-month price showed little movement on Thursday at $572.00 per short ton. The spot price of the US HRC futures contract saw little movement at $583.00 per short ton.

Steel mill operator Evraz North America said Wednesday it is temporarily laying off 200 workers at its Pueblo, Colo., plant.

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Evraz cited low oil prices as a reason for the layoffs. The Pueblo facility makes seamless pipe used in oil and gas production.

The plant has 1,218 workers, making it Pueblo’s third-largest employer.

“Due to declining oil prices and significant reductions in drilling programs, Evraz is making production adjustments and temporarily crewing down where needed,” the company said in a statement.

On Wednesday, January 28, Chinese slab fell by 1.7% to CNY 2,360 ($378.12) per metric ton, making it the day’s biggest mover. After dropping for two days, the price of Chinese HRC flattened at CNY 2,610 ($418.18). The price of Chinese coking coal remained essentially flat at CNY 1,080 ($173.04) per metric ton. 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.

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

The steel billet cash price continues hovering around $500.00 per metric ton on the LME for the fifth day in a row. For the fifth day in a row, the steel billet 3-month price remained essentially flat on the LME at $480.00 per metric ton.

The US HRC futures contract 3-month price showed little movement on Wednesday, hovering around $572.00 per short ton. The US HRC futures contract spot price saw little movement on Wednesday, closing out around $583.00 per short ton.

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