Steel prices inched upwards during the month of May following price increase announcements by the mills, with the SMU hot rolled index reaching $500 per ton last week. Scrap prices increased over April, as did zinc and aluminum prices.
SMU Buyers Sentiment Index readings increased over April, with Current Sentiment coming back into positive territory and reaching +29 at the end of the month. Future Sentiment rebounded from +25 to +44, while the three-month moving average ended the month at +6.67 as of last Friday.
The SMU Price Momentum Indicator remained at Neutral for the entire month, after moving from Lower on April 30.
Key indicators of steel demand were mixed, but with more data points reflecting the downturn compared to last month. The AIA Billings Index fell from 33.3 to 29.5, and private employment shrunk by nearly 20 million jobs. (Note, figures in the chart are monthly averages.)
See the chart below for other key metrics in the month of May:
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