SMU Data and Models

SMU HR Price MoMo Index Enters Tenth Week in Negative Territory

Written by Brett Linton

The Steel Market Update (SMU) Price Momentum Index (MoMo) for hot rolled steel in the United States remained negative this week for the tenth consecutive week, following a 28 week long positive streak. MoMo is a trailing indicator and shows the relationship between the current U.S. hot rolled coil price movements against the previous 12-week average price as a percentage. A positive MoMo index indicates hot rolled steel prices are moving in an upward direction compared to the previous 12 week period, while a negative index number indicates a downward direction in prices.

MoMo should not be confused with the SMU Price Momentum Indicator which is a forward looking indicator. The SMU Price Momentum Indicator is currently at lower indicating that steel prices are expected to decline over the next 30-60 days.

MoMo was measured at -10.45 percent this week, meaning that the current HRC price is lower than the average price over the last 12 weeks.

The change in MoMo can be a useful indicator in depicting the severity of price movements and evaluating the directional trend for flat rolled steel prices. The week-over-week change in MoMo was +1.29 percent, following a change of -4.58 percent last week. This indicates that the downward movement previously saw in hot rolled price momentum has reversed compared to the previous week. Since prices were flat week over week but had a sharp decline the previous week, this weekly comparison is skewed and the 3-week average change below is a better focus point.

To get a wider sense of the change in the MoMo Index and eliminate weekly fluctuations, we calculate a 3-week average change. The 3-week average change in the MoMo Index is -0.78 percent, following a change of -2.52 percent the week before. This shows that there is a downward movement in hot rolled price momentum and that movement has slowed down compared the previous 3-week period.

The graph below demonstrates the relationship between the SMU hot rolled coil price, the SMU Price MoMo Index, and the three week moving average change in the MoMo Index. Click here to view and interact with it on our website. As published this evening’s issue, the latest SMU HRC price range is $500-$550 per ton with an average price of $525, unchanged from last week and down $35 from two weeks ago.

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