ENERGY COSTS ARE DRIVING INPUT & CONSUMER PRICES
Energy prices continue to skyrocket across the globe. Smelters, particularly in Europe, are feeling the impact. These prices are keeping the cost of zinc elevated and above the key $2.00/lb. level. Additionally, energy prices are impacting consumer prices. The Consumer Price Index is climbing at its fastest year-over-rate rate since 1981. The 8.54% overall increase has been fueled by a 32.0% increase in energy pricing.
After briefly touching $2.00/lb. last week before slipping back, zinc pricing rebounded above that key level this week.
- Zinc pricing is currently at $2.048/lb., its highest level in over fifteen years.
- Skyrocketing energy pricing is affecting smelters around the globe, particularly in Europe, which has helped to push the price higher.
Spot iron ore pricing slipped this week, sliding back to $150.60/mt.
- Spot iron ore pricing is down 6.3% w/w and still below prior year levels.
Midwest prime scrap settled at $760/gt for April, up 10.95% from March and now at the highest price since June 2008 ($785/gt).
- Prime scrap pricing is now up $265/gt in just the last two months.
Domestic raw steel production increased slightly last week, after two consecutive week-over-week declines.
- U.S. steelmakers produced 1.739 million tons at a 79.7% utilization rate.
- YTD production is now down 0.6% compared to the same timeframe last year.
Shipments of North American (U.S. and Canada) tractors and combines increased in March.
- Shipments totaled 27,439 units in March, up 40.6% from February but down a sharp 19.9% from 34,252 units in March 2021.
- This was the first year-over-year decline in shipments since June.
- Shipments of both tractors and combines declined from last year, sliding 20.0% and 15.5%, respectively.
- Combine shipments have now declined on a year-over-year basis for the third consecutive month.
- Q1 2022 shipments totaled 65,142 units, down 7.4% compared to Q1 2021.
Total domestic carbon steel consumption, on a per/day basis, continued its recent downtrend in February but remained higher than year-ago levels for the eleventh consecutive month.
- Total carbon steel consumption (steel shipments + imports – exports) came in at a per/day rate of 280.4 thousand tons in February, down from 290.2 thousand tons in January. However, this was up 8.4% from the 258.7 thousand tons/day rate in February 2021
- February carbon flat rolled consumption came in at a rate of 150.1 thousand tons/day, down from January and at its lowest daily pace since last February.
- Despite continued slowdowns from the auto sector, carbon coated flat rolled consumption, on a per/day basis, held steady after the strong January reading.
- Per/day coated flat rolled consumption came in at 58.4 thousand tons/day, up 11.2% from a 52.5 thousand tons/day rate in February 2021.
Prices paid by consumers continued to climb sharply in March, climbing at its fastest year-over-year rate since 1981.
- The March Consumer Price Index showed prices were up 1.34% from February and a sharp 8.54% from March 2021.
- The sharp year-over-year increase was fueled by a 32.0% increase in energy pricing and an 8.8% increase in pricing for food.
- The core-CPI, which excludes prices for food and energy, saw a 0.43% increase from February and a 6.47% increase from March 2021.
- This was the largest year-over-year increase since August 1982.
- This was boosted by a 5.0% increase in the pricing for shelter; its largest increase since 1991.
- Household furnishing pricing increased 10.1% from last March, the largest increase since 1975.
This material, information and analyses (the “Content”) may include certain statements, estimates and projections prepared with respect to, among other things, historical data and anticipated performance. Content may reflect various assumptions by Majestic Steel USA, Inc. concerning anticipated results that are inherently subject to significant economic, competitive and other uncertainties and contingencies and have been included for illustrative purposes. Content is provided AS-IS.