CONSUMER CONFIDENCE REBOUNDED IN DECMEBER
After sliding the previous two months, consumer confidence rebounded slightly in December. According to the Conference Board, Consumer Confidence increased to 108.3, up sharply from 101.4 in November. The Present Situation Index increased as well to 147.2 from 138.3 previously. The Expectations Index, a short-term outlook, increased also, climbing to 82.4 from 76.7 in November. This is the strongest reading since the summer and second strongest of the year.
As the recent up and down movement for zinc continues, pricing declined after climbing the previous two weeks.
Spot iron ore pricing held steady this week, holding at $110.50/mt.
Met coal pricing rebounded slightly this week, ending the week at $254.50/mt.
U.S. raw steel production declined last week after inching higher the prior two weeks.
- U.S. steelmakers produced 1.627 million tons at an 72.9% utilization rate.
- Production last week was down 8.0% compared to the same week last year and YTD production is now down 5.5% from the same time last year.
Based on preliminary import license data, the daily average for December (19 days) shows flat rolled steel imports were up 5.6% compared to November.
- While still early in the month, coated imports are tracking up 13.1% month-over-month.
Nucor announced they are building a new coating line at CSI.
- The new line will add 400k tons a year and will bring CSI’s total coating capacity to 1.2 million tons annually.
- The expected completion of the project is some time in mid-2025.
Confidence among U.S. homebuilders continued to worsen in December.
The December Housing Market Index came in at 31, down from 33 in November and well below the 84 reading from December 2021.
Any reading below 50 shows builders are not confident in building conditions, while any reading above 50 shows growing confidence.
- The HMI has now been below 50 for the fifth consecutive month.
- All three components of the index continued to show declines in December, with the weakest reading coming from the traffic component.
- The present situation and next six month components remain well below 50 at 36 and 35, respectively.
New housing starts continued to slide in November, now down for the third consecutive month.
Production of light vehicles in the U.S. continued to slow in November, now declining for the third consecutive month.
U.S. light vehicle production totaled 803,346 units in November, down 10.2% from October but still up 2.9% compared to 780,780 builds in November 2021.
- This is the lowest monthly output for new builds since July.
- Production of both cars and light trucks declined compared to October, sliding 7.0% and 10.9%, respectively.
- Despite the recent month-over-month declines, year-to-date light vehicle production is still up 10.3% compared to the first eleven months of 2021.
- However, looking back to pre-COVID in 2019, production is down 7.7% compared to the same timeframe then.
After sliding the previous two months, consumer confidence rebounded slightly in December.
- According to the Conference Board, Consumer Confidence increased to 108.3, up sharply from 101.4 in November.
- The Present Situation Index increased to 147.2 from 138.3 previously.
- The Expectations Index, a short-term outlook, increased as well climbing to 82.4 from 76.7 in November.
- This is the strongest the index has been since the summer and is at its second strongest reading of the year.
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.