SMU's June At-a-Glance

Written by Brett Linton

Steel prices rose even higher through the month of June, now the 10th consecutive month prices have increased. Hot rolled steel prices increased an average of $30 per ton each week, reaching $1,770 per ton in SMU’s latest check of the market. The SMU Price Momentum Indicator has remained unchanged since the August 2020 adjustment to higher, indicating prices are expected to rise further in the short term.

June scrap prices were up $30-50 per ton over May. Click here to view and compare prices within our interactive pricing tool.

Zinc prices declined from the highs seen last month, sliding from $1.3795 per pound at the beginning of the month to $1.3386 as of June 30. Aluminum prices ended the month strong at $1.1359 per pound on June 11, the second highest daily price seen in June.

The SMU Buyers Sentiment Index remains highly optimistic, ending the month at +78. Sentiment reached a record high of +79 as of June 10. The three-month moving average was +72.20 as of last Thursday, the highest reading since February 2018.

Hot rolled lead times remained extended, averaging 10.52 weeks throughout June, while the percentage of buyers reporting mills willing to negotiate on HR prices remained miniscule.

Key indicators of steel demand overall remained positive, as they have for recent months. The ISM Manufacturing Index indicated further expansion in the economy for the 13th consecutive month, and the AIA Billings Index, a measure of construction activity, recovered for the fifth month in a row. In the energy sector, the active drill rig count rose throughout the month, reaching a 14-month high. Total U.S. steel imports and apparent steel supply both have shown gains in recent months.

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

June at a glance

By Brett Linton,

Brett Linton

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