Market Update | July 20, 2022



With a high bump in oil pricing this week, it is now back over the $100 a barrel mark. However, this has yet to impact gas pricing, which has fallen below $4.50/gallon on average for the first time in 2 months. Gas prices have now been on the decline for the past 35 days straight.


Input Costs

After rebounding last week, zinc pricing remained relatively flat this week.

    • Zinc pricing remained around $1.36/lb-$1.37/lb, its lowest level since last September.


Spot iron ore pricing saw another decline after sliding the previous two weeks.

    • After sliding below $100/mt late last week, pricing bounced back over $100/mt this week to $100.90/mt.

    • The recent bounce came after Chinese regulators urged banks to extend loans to qualified real estate projects to ease concerns by a widening mortgage payment boycott on unfinished houses.
    • This comes after many home buyers across China threatened to stop making mortgage payments for stalled projects, fueled by lower buyer confidence and skyrocketing prices.


Pacific Basin met coal pricing continued its recent slide this week.

    • Current pricing is at $230/mt, down nearly 5.5% from the end of last week.

    • While pricing is still down 39% compared to this time last month, pricing is up 8.7% from this time last year.


Despite the high bump in oil pricing this week, back over $100/barrel, U.S. gas prices fell below $4.50/gallon, on average, for the first time in two months.

    • Gas prices have now declined for 35 consecutive days.




Domestic raw steel production dropped last week, now down for the second consecutive week.

    • U.S. steelmakers produced 1.738 million tons at an 78.9% utilization rate.
    • This was the lowest weekly output since the first week of April, the utilization rate was at its lowest level since early May 2021.
    • YTD production is now down 2.5% from the same time last year.


Based on preliminary carbon flat rolled import licenses, daily average imports for July (18 days) are down 9.7% compared to the rate through the same time in June.

    • The coated flat rolled import rate is down 19.0% compared to the rate in June.


Steel Dynamics will break into the wrought aluminum sector by building a new flat-rolled aluminum mill in the southeast, with two supporting satellite recycled aluminum slab centers.

    • The 650,000 mt/yr mill and recycling facilities would cost $2.2bn and production is expected to begin in the first quarter of 2025.
    • They cited a 2mn t flat-rolled aluminum deficit driven by growing demand from the automotive and beverage can industries. A lack of capacity is also said to be impacting automotive producers’ ability to secure supply.



Surging inflation and interest rates are hammering American consumers and weighing on the housing market.

    • Mortgage demand fell last week, sliding more than 6%, and hitting the lowest point since 2000.

    • Buyers have lost considerable purchasing power as rates have almost doubled since earlier this year.


Confidence among U.S. homebuilders continued to wane in July, now slowing for the seventh consecutive month.

    • The July Housing Market Index came in at 55, down from an unrevised 67 in June.

    • This was the steepest, month-over-month, drop on record for the index.

    • Despite the recent slide, the index remained over 50.0 for the 110th consecutive month.

    • Any reading over 50 indicates an increase in confidence, while any reading below 50 denotes a contraction.
    • While the present situation component (64) remained above 50.0, the next six months component landed right on 50 and the traffic component declined to 37.
    • This is the lowest level for the traffic component since the onset of the pandemic which forced people to stay home.


New residential construction continued to slow in June, now down for the third time in the last four months.

    • June housing starts came in at a 1.559-million-unit rate, down 2.0% from May and down 6.3% from a 1.664-million-unit rate in June 2021.

    • This was the largest year-over-year decline since February 2021.
    • Despite the recent slowdown in starts, YTD starts are still up 5.8% compared to the first half of 2021.
    • Permits, an indicator for future construction, declined as well, sliding to a 1.685- million-unit rate.
    • Permits have now declined in three consecutive months and four times during the first six months of the year.




Prices paid by consumers increased sharply once again in June.

    • The Consumer Price Index increased 1.3% from June and was up a sharp 9.1% on a year-ago basis.
    • This was the largest year-over-year increase in prices since November 1981.

    • The energy sector increased 41.6% over the last twelve months, the largest 12- month increase since April 1980.
    • The food sector increased 10.4% from June 2021, the largest increase since February 1981.
    • Excluding the volatile food and energy sectors, prices increased 0.7% from June and 5.9% over the last twelve months.
    • The year-over-year increase was actually down slightly from the 6.0% increase in May and was at the lowest level since December.
    • The largest increases over the last twelve months came from shelter (5.6%), furniture (9.5%), new vehicles (11.4%) and airfare (34.1).





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.