RAW MATERIALS & HRC PRICES CONTINUE TO CLIMB
Skyrocketing energy prices around the globe continue to push zinc pricing higher as it reached $2.00/lb. Spot iron ore continued to rebound this week as it reached $160.85/mt. HRC prices around the globe continue to rise as a result of ongoing supply disruptions from Russia and Ukraine. However, prices in Northern Europe have steadied due to buyer hesitation. Current HRC pricing in Northern Europe is around $70.00/cwt.
After briefly touching $2.00/lb. earlier this week, zinc pricing slipped back slightly but remained at historically high levels.
- Skyrocketing energy pricing is affecting smelters around the globe, particularly in Europe, which has helped to push the price higher.
Spot iron ore pricing continued to rebound this week, climbing to $160.85/mt.
- Spot iron ore pricing is up 5.1% w/w but still below prior year levels.
The recent downtrend for met coal pricing increased this week, with Pacific basin met coal pricing slipping for the fifth consecutive week.
- Met coal pricing declined to $385/mt this week, down 28.3% from last week and down 42.5% from the all-time high three weeks ago.
Domestic raw steel production declined slightly last week, now down for the second consecutive week.
- U.S. steelmakers produced 1.724 million tons at a 79.3% utilization rate.
- This was the lowest weekly output, in tonnage, since early February 2021.
- YTD production is now virtually flat compared to the same timeframe last year.
Cleveland-Cliffs applied for an air permit with the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency for the proposed installation of an EAF melt shop and associated operations to in Middletown, Ohio.
- A representative for the Cliffs indicated the company has no immediate plans to construct an EAF, instead indicating the air permits represent “a possibility for a distant future.”
According to Platts, HRC pricing around the globe continues to see an uptick after the recent disruption to supply from Russia and Ukraine.
- After initially increasing sharply on the back of lower Russian and Ukrainian supply and a sharp increase in raw material costs, hot rolled coil pricing in Northern Europe has steadied on buyer hesitation.
- Current HRC pricing for Northern Europe is around $70.00/cwt.
- Asian HRC pricing slipped slightly this week, sliding to $39.92/cwt.
U.S. light vehicle sales increased in March, now climbing for the second consecutive month and for the third time in the last four months.
- U.S. light vehicle sales totaled 1.246 million units, up 19.2% from January but still well below year-ago levels.
- U.S. light vehicle sales, on a year-over-year basis, are now down for the eighth consecutive month.
- Sales for both cars and light trucks increased, climbing 18.5% and 20.0%, respectively.
- This was the highest month total (194,065 units) for car sales since July.
- Year-to-date sales are down 15.8% compared to the same timeframe last year.
After slipping the previous two months, U.S. light vehicle inventory rebounded sharply in March but still remains well below the long-run average.
- U.S. light vehicle inventory totaled 1.232 million units in March, up 15.5% from February but still 48.7% below last March’s total.
- This is the twenty-fourth consecutive month in which light vehicle inventory has seen a double-digit year-over-year decline.
- Current inventory, when combined with March’s sales pace, equates to 27 days of supply.
- This is up from 24 days in February but still sharply below the historical average of 65 days.
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.