Steel Blog

Prior to the ArcelorMittal USA price increase announcement, Steel Market Update analysis of steel prices found flat rolled steel prices continuing their slow slog south (prices are moving lower). The pace has not accelerated, but there are questions as to whether some of the steel mills are cutting "quiet" deals in order to fill their fourth-quarter order book without giving the steel away.

One service center put it to us this way: "If you have index contracts, those prices aren’t that attractive, so my guess is some cheaper pricing must be out there to motivate anyone wanting to buy big volume right now. My guess is in the next two weeks there will be a lot of 'quiet deals' being done on volume to get December books full. For those who have learned that they can live comfortably with 2 months of inventory, even a so-called 'deal' right now isn’t that attractive, considering we could be entering a phase of lower input cost for an extended period."

We will have to wait and see if the ArcelorMittal price increase announcement has any impact on lead times or price negotiations with steel buyers. Steel Market Update is keeping our SMU Price Momentum Indicator as pointing toward lower prices over the short term. We will adjust the indicator to neutral as soon as another steel mill follows the ArcelorMittal lead. AM USA has done something interesting with their increase as they have identified the "minimum" base prices for hot rolled ($625 per ton), cold rolled ($825 per ton) and hot-dipped galvanized ($825 per ton). You can compare those base prices against what we are publishing for flat rolled steel prices for this week.

Weekly Raw Steel Production Up 5.4%

Monday, 16 October 2017 16:45

U.S. raw steel production for the week ending Oct. 14 totaled 1,744,000 net tons, a 5.4 percent increase from the same period last year, and up 0.2 percent from the prior week. The mill capability utilization rate for the week averaged 74.8 percent, up from 74.7 percent the prior week and 70.8 percent the prior year, reports the American Iron and Steel Institute in Washington.

Adjusted year-to-date production through Oct. 14 totaled 71,289,000 net tons, up 3.8 percent from the same period last year. The average mill capability utilization rate for the year to date was 74.6 percent, up from 72.2 percent in 2016.



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Weekly Raw Steel Production Increases

Tuesday, 10 October 2017 16:49

U.S. raw steel production for the week ending Oct. 7 totaled 1,741,000 net tons, a 5.2 percent increase from the same period last year, and up 2.1 percent from the prior week. The mill capability utilization rate for the week averaged 74.7 percent, up from 73.2 percent the prior week and 70.8 percent the prior year, reports the American Iron and Steel Institute in Washington.

Adjusted year-to-date production through Oct. 7 totaled 69,545,000 net tons, up 3.7 percent from the same period last year. The average mill capability utilization rate for the year to date was 74.6 percent, up from 72.2 percent in 2016.



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Scrap Moves Lower in October

Sunday, 08 October 2017 14:22

The negotiations for ferrous scrap were pretty "easy," according to one ferrous scrap analyst who told Steel Market Update on Friday that virtually every market in the United States was down $30 per gross ton on heavy melt and shred and other obsolete grades, while prime grades such as bundles and #1 busheling dropped $40 per gross ton. The numbers referenced are compared to scrap prices for September delivery.



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In an effort to keep our readers as up to date as possible, we are adding some information to the steel mill maintenance schedule that we originally produced last week. The table did not change, but we did receive information from ArcelorMittal that we wanted to pass along.



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August Raw Steel Production at 2.5-Year High

Tuesday, 03 October 2017 16:48

Total raw steel production for the month of August was 7,824,820 net tons, with 5,344,663 tons produced by electric arc furnaces (EAFs) and 2,480,157 tons produced by blast furnaces. This is the highest monthly production figure seen since January 2015 when 8,002,074 tons were produced. August raw steel production was 150,877 tons or 2.0 percent lower than the previous month, and 496,286 tons or 6.8 percent higher than the same month last year, reports the American Iron and Steel Institute (AISI) in Washington. AISI's monthly estimates are different than the weekly estimates we report; the monthly estimates are based on over 75 percent of the domestic mills reporting versus only 50 percent reporting for the weekly estimates.



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Weekly Steel Production Down

Tuesday, 03 October 2017 16:00

U.S. raw steel production totaled 1,706,000 net tons in the week ended Sept. 30, a 7.2 percent increase from the same period last year, but down 0.8 percent from the prior week. The mill capability utilization rate for the Sept. 30 week averaged 73.2 percent, up substantially from the 68.0 percent at the same time last year, but down slightly from the 73.8 percent a week earlier, reports the American Iron and Steel Institute in Washington.

Adjusted year-to-date production through Sept. 30 totaled 67,804,000 net tons, up 3.7 percent from the same period last year. The capability utilization rate of 74.6 percent for the year is up from 72.1 percent in 2016.



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Fourth-Quarter Steel Mill Maintenance

Thursday, 28 September 2017 14:29

Steel Market Update has been working with steel buyers and the domestic steel mills in order to provide a better understanding of what outages/maintenance is scheduled above and beyond normal mill maintenance. Even though there are a number of outages scheduled, we are being told by both mills and their customers that the downtime has been reflected in lead times and there should not be any disruption to normal order flows.



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U.S. Raw Steel Production Down Last Week

Tuesday, 26 September 2017 15:53

U.S. raw steel production totaled 1,720,000 net tons in the week ending Sept. 23, an 8.1 percent increase from the same period last year, but down 1.4 percent from the prior week. The mill capability utilization rate for the week averaged 73.8 percent, down slightly from 74.9 percent the prior week, but up substantially from the 68.0 percent at the same time last year, reports the American Iron and Steel Institute in Washington.

Adjusted year-to-date production through Sept. 23 totaled 66,098,000 net tons, up 3.6 percent from the same period last year. The average mill capability utilization rate for the year was 74.6 percent, up from 72.1 percent in 2016.



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Weekly Raw Steel Production Rises Again

Tuesday, 19 September 2017 11:02

U.S. raw steel production totaled 1,745,000 net tons in the week ending Sept. 16, up 0.7 percent from the prior week and an increase of 9.7 percent from the same period last year. The mill capability utilization rate for the Sept. 16 week was 74.9 percent, up significantly from 68.0 percent at the same time in 2016, reports the American Iron and Steel Institute in Washington.

Adjusted year-to-date production through Sept. 16 was 64,378,000 net tons, up 3.5 percent from the same period last year, at an average capability utilization rate of 74.6 percent.



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