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Tag Archives: steel

Is it time to go long on European steel?

The recent rebound in European steel prices could represent the beginnings of a recovery for companies who suffered huge losses as a result of the dramatic price collapse in 2015. Initial reluctance from buyers to pay rising prices has turned to acceptance and, with imports now offered at the same levels as domestic material, it seems the recovery may not be as temporary as was first thought. Across the continent purchasing managers will be asking themselves “is this the right time to buy?”...

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The stars align to support US steelmakers

Real demand is still flat and US steelmakers appear to be facing a “perfect storm” — a good one, this time. Whether it’s Adam Smith’s “invisible hand” or some kind of global steel zeitgeist, things are all of a sudden looking great for US mills, just in time for the seasonally strong second quarter. One of the biggest boosts is coming from actions set in motion last year: unfair trade cases filed by domestic producers against sheet steel imports from 11 countries. The US Commerce Department...

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Another riveting week ahead in steel markets?

Last week was a week of two halves for the global ferrous supply chain. From early-to-mid week prices were under pressure, but as the period progressed iron ore kicked up and steel in China and elsewhere followed suit. One school of thought suggested Chinese production ramping up slower than anticipated — to cash in on the price uptick — was the cause for some of the bullishness. “Because of their losses, Chinese mills are generally not eager to boost their production, and therefore steel...

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Romance of the high seas strong in shipping industry hearts

“There is nothing more enticing, disenchanting, and enslaving than the life at sea”. So said renowned Polish-British writer Joseph Conrad in his controversial 1900 novel, Lord Jim. Sailors from decades past said that without shipping half the world would freeze to death, the other half would starve to death. It is a grand, dramatic statement, I agree, but it is not too far from the truth: according to the International Chamber of Shipping, an astonishing 90% of world trade is...

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US steel scrap dealers eke out a March Market Madness victory

For US scrap dealers, March came in like a bull. Prices moved up $10, $15, $20/lt, and even more in some cases. It had been awhile since US scrap dealers had the sort of leverage they did during the March buy week. If we consider each buy week a battle between dealers and mill buyers, then the dealers’ record in 2015 was 2-8-2. To put in March Madness terms, each month scrap suppliers entered the buy week as a No. 14 seed facing a No. 3 seed (also known as the mill buyers). This was...

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Ferrous supply chain reeling amid unprecedented hike in steel, iron ore prices

The ferrous supply chain reeled March 7 amid a precipitous and unprecedented climb in steel and iron ore prices. Platts 62% Fe IODEX jumped a whopping $10.70/dry mt (or 20%), its largest daily hike ever, to reach $64.20/mt. Myriad factors were cited as upward drivers of the iron ore market – from pre-construction season restocking, to a flower show in Beijing; to government stimulus (or potential stimulus) after the National People’s Congress, where a gross domestic product target of 6.5-7%...

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There’s more spring in the step of the steel industry in March, but can it last?

Ardent observers of the steel trade press might have concluded the month of March came in like a lion after reading the top headlines of Tuesday’s Platts SBB Global Briefing. Of the top five stories, four were pricing stories and all were positive, a noticeable change from many previous steel market headlines containing such phrases as “gloom” and “doom.” The positive news for steel that launched March had an international flair: Asia rebar prices on the rise; US sheet...

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US scrap industry returns to an event where many were queasy last year

An annual scrap industry event in St. Louis every February has grown in mass and scale over the past decades. Once a regional chapter dinner, it is now a full-scale party that attracts scrap dealers and mill buyers from across the country. ISRI’s Mid-American Consumers Night banquet on Tuesday evening is the main event, but meetings begin as early as breakfast on Monday. Industry friends begin gathering in the Union Station Hotel lobby well before the start of the banquet, and this...

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Ask Hunker Harry: Good weather news is bad news for US steel

Punxsutawney Phil, the famous groundhog who predicts the longevity of the US winter each year, did  not see his shadow last week, indicating an early spring. This is only the 18th time in 130 years that the groundhog failed to see his shadow. An emcee at the Groundhog Day event in the chilly northwestern Pennsylvania town told those gathered it was OK to remove their coats. What may be great news for wide swaths of America is likely bad news for the price of ferrous scrap. Easy collection and...

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Chinese New Year sees no-monkeying-around stance on steel overcapacity

As China takes off for the new Year of the Monkey, the mood for many in its steel industry will decidedly be sombre, judging from the recent slew of warnings several steelmakers have issued, predicting massive losses for 2015. Over the week-long break, the industry will take time to digest the bitter medicine that the State Council has said would follow, after its announcement yesterday of guidelines to not just eliminate 100-150 million mt of capacity over the next five years, but to manage...

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