Flat rolled steel prices, and the momentum associated with steel price movement, have been stuck for quite some time as you can see by our SMU Price Momentum at the top of the table below. As a result, our benchmark hot rolled price average is $3 per ton higher than what we reported at the end of June and $6 per ton higher than that of May.
As you can see, the other two indexes watched closely by the steel community (CRU and Platts) were within one dollar ($1) of the SMU average for the month.
You can also see by our weekly numbers that hot rolled coil prices have been slipping as of late. This is due to an expansion of the range. We are expecting the domestic steel mills to file antidumping and countervailing duty cases on hot rolled during the month of August. We will see if the combination of HR, CR and coated trade cases begins to impact pricing.
SMU Steel Buyers Sentiment Index 3 month moving average (3MMA) has been improving. We believe this is due to a strengthening of the commercial construction sector and would be even better if the energy markets were to rebound.
Zinc and aluminum prices are both lower as of the end of the month. Iron ore prices are also down.
MSCI months on hand (flat rolled) dropped to 2.4 months as of the end of June. However, SMU Service Center Apparent Inventory Excess was calculated to be 617,000 net tons (our forecast is calling for tonnage to drop significantly over the next two months – if you want to learn more inquire about becoming a Premium level subscriber to SMU).
Imports are down but are still well above the 3.0 million net ton mark. Apparent steel supply continued to drop.
John PackardRead more from John Packard
Latest in SMU Data and Models
SMU Steel Demand Index sags, hits four-month low
Steel Market Update’s Steel Demand Index has moved lower, having remained in contraction territory for the better part of the past two months, according to our latest survey data.
SMU market survey results now available
The latest SMU market survey results are now available on our website to all premium members. After logging in at steelmarketupdate.com, visit the pricing and analysis tab and look under the “survey results” section for “latest survey results.” Historical survey results are also available under that selection. If you need help accessing the survey results, […]
SMU survey: Current Buyers’ Sentiment flat, Future Sentiment falls
SMU’s Current Steel Buyers’ Sentiment Index was flat this week, while the Future Sentiment Index slipped, according to our most recent survey data.
SMU survey: Steel mill lead times largely stable
Mill lead times for flat-rolled steel were mostly stable over the past two weeks. With several mills slow to come out of outages and upgrades, cold rolled and coated lead times have been holding up better than hot rolled.
SMU survey: More sheet buyers find mills willing to talk price
The percentage of sheet buyers finding mills willing to negotiate spot pricing rose or remained relatively flat on the products SMU surveys, while plate slumped, according to our most recent survey data.