SMU's March At-a-Glance

Written by Brett Linton

The month of March saw government actions to stop the spread of the coronavirus begin to take a toll on steel demand and prices. In reaction, Steel Market Update’s Buyers Sentiment Index plunged by more than 20 points.

Flat rolled steel prices declined from February, with the benchmark price of hot rolled down to a monthly average of $565 per ton. SMU’s latest market canvass puts the average price of hot rolled at $540 per ton, down from a January high of $610 per ton. SMU’s Price Momentum Indicator was adjusted to Lower in the last week of March.

Scrap prices, which had been expected to rise in March, were flat from the prior month. Zinc and aluminum prices continued their downward tumble, ending the month around $0.84 and $0.68 per pound, respectively.

See the chart below for other key metrics in the month of March:

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