The Raw Steels Monthly Metals Index (MMI) ticked up 2.0% for this month’s index reading, as the pace of steel price rises has started to slow.
The MetalMiner team will be presenting a commodity forecast for copper, aluminum, stainless and carbon steel on Wednesday, March 24, at 10 a.m. CDT: https://zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_6J8wAyYySfihVk3ZUH9yMA.
Steel price gains appear to slow
Steel price rises have continued, much to the chagrin of buyers battling for hard-to-get supply.
However, the pace of the price gains has started to slow.
“The percentage of increase week over week seems to be getting smaller,” said Don Hauser, MetalMiner vice president of business solutions. “This may be a sign the peak is near. Short term, it is likely going to continue to rise, just at a slower pace. Steel prices may remain supported unless/until new production capacity comes back onstream, and some will get added this year.”
Overall, it’s a difficult time for buyers.
“Unforecasted material is still nearly impossible to find unless it’s by chance,” Hauser added. “Even forecasted material can be difficult to receive on time.”
Capacity utilization hits 77.4%
Speaking of supply and the steel price, steel capacity utilization reached 77.4% for the week ending March 6, the American Iron and Steel Institute reported.
The US steel sector churned out 1.76 million net tons of steel during the week, up 0.3% from the previous week but down 0.3% year over year.
Production for the year to date totaled 16.11 million net tons, or down 7.6% compared with the same time frame the year before. (Notably, this period in 2020 does not yet cover the beginning of lockdown restrictions related to the pandemic.)