Tag: contracts

HRC futures: A flock of canaries in the mine

Much has happened since we last met on Jan. 4. Cleveland-Cliffs announced a price increase on Jan. 3, lifting the futures market in the morning only for it to finish the day $20-$30 per short ton (st) below those morning highs. On Jan. 4, the futures curve was down another $10-$28/st. And in my column for SMU that evening, I asked a question: Would those aggressive sellers be met with a short-squeeze forcing them to cover, or had the market peaked with the negative price action to start the year the proverbial canary in the coal mine?

HRC futures: 2023 was wild, what comes next?

We started 2023 with HRC spot pricing around $700 per ton and the third-month future (March ‘23) trading at $800/ton. That same future eventually settled at $1,059/ton - a $259/ton swing. Today, spot pricing is just shy of $1,100/ton for HRC, and the third-month future (March ‘24) settled at $1,091/ton. The clear takeaway: a lot can change over three months. And while future contracts are a valuable tool for hedging, they are a terrible predictor of price.