Those interested the steel industry may wish to take a look at SteelGuru. Here are a few links of general interest.

US Steel Update October 2

US steel market data update for first 7 months

In ‘000 tonnes
Source: AISI statistics

Chinese onslaught brings down HR steel prices in EU on knees

China’s effect on the steel market is interesting. Please consider Chinese onslaught brings down HR steel prices in EU on knees.

Prices of HRC are under severe pressure in Europe this week due to several offers of Chinese material.

We have understood from market sources that HRC in quality S235JR and thickness 2 mm and above has been offered at around EUR 350 per tonne CIF FO Italian Port by Chinese mills through their trading houses.

At today exchange rate this equals to about USD 510 per tonne on CNF basis, which would lead to a FOB Chinese port price of about USD 450 per tonne to USD 460 per tonne.

This is a major event as is showing a consistent negative trend with a sudden steep slope.

China will be closed during all next week due to National Holiday. But when Chinese mills return to market on October 9th, situation is likely to get even worse.

Steel Usage In Japan Drops Off Cliff

Inquiring minds are noting METI sees Japan crude steel output in 2009 to hit lowest in 40 years.

Thursday, 01 Oct 2009

Ministry of Economy, Trade & Industry said that Japan’s crude steel production in 2009 is estimated to hit the lowest level in 40 years due largely to steep demand falls from automakers and other manufacturers in the first half of the year.

MET said that output is projected to total 86.34 million tonnes, the lowest level since 1969.

“Trig” on Silicon Investor writes:

Although steel is just another indicator, it’s an important one.

Chinese efforts to maintain jobs and production, plus their huge iron ore imports means that they will be lowballing steel prices for a while. The important thing to note in the stats: despite low prices we aren’t importing Chinese steel.

Net imports are down 54.9%. Exports are down 40.5%

The inferences are obvious:

  • We’re not buying cheap steel,
  • We’re not using it to manufacture products
  • We’re not exporting finished products made of steel despite a lower USD.

These are not signs of a healthy economy, or growth.

Steel? Who needs it?

Mike “Mish” Shedlock
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