Market Update | March 27, 2024



New orders for manufactured durable goods increased in February after sliding in the previous two months. New orders increased to a $277.9 billion rate, up 1.4% from January and followed a 6.9% decline in January.




Cleveland Cliffs announced increased spot market pricing by $60/st for all carbon sheet products, effective immediately.

  • Cliffs also set minimum base price for hot rolled at $900/st.



Input Costs

After rebounding last week, zinc pricing slipped once again this week.

  • Zinc pricing came in at $1.11/lb this week, down from $1.14/lb previously and is right at the 30-day average.


Spot iron ore pricing slipped this week, slipping to $113/mt.

  • Rising inventories and low steel mill profitability in China, combined with weaker steel demand in 2024, have negatively impacted iron ore pricing.


Coking coal pricing continued to decline this week, sliding to the lowest level since August.

  • The current coking coal pricing of $245/mt, down 9.3% from last week and down 22.0% from this time last month.




After climbing to a six-plus month high two weeks ago, US raw steel production slipped this week.

    • US steelmakers produced 1.703 million tons at a 76.7% utilization rate.
      • This was the lowest weekly output since the second week of February.
      • YTD production is essentially flat from the same timeframe last year.


Global steel production continued to rebound, on a daily basis, in February after sliding throughout Q4.

    • February global steel production came in at a 5.132 million mt rate, up 0.7% from January and up slightly from 0.1% from 5.127 million mt rate.
      • The daily production rate has now increased, on a year-over-year basis, in four of the last five months.
    • Chinese production was flat from February, holding at a 2.799 million mt daily rate, but was down 0.1% from a 2.802 million mt rate in February 2023.
      • Production from the rest of the world was up on both a month-over-month and year-over-year basis, climbing 1.5% and 0.3%, respectively.
    • YTD actual production is up 4.3% from the same timeframe last year.


Total carbon steel imports slipped in February after a sharp increase in January.

    • Despite slipping in February, total imports were up nearly 10% from February 2023.
    • Carbon steel flat rolled imports declined as well, sliding 10.0% from January but were up 33.2% from February 2023.
      • All three flat rolled product imports declined from January, with the largest decline (22.6%) in hot rolled products.
      • Cold rolled and coated imports declined 4.4% and 4.3%, respectively.
    • Year-to-date flat rolled imports are now up 28.0% compared to the first two months of last year.




After climbing the previous two months, sales of new homes slipped slightly in February.

    • February new home sales came in at a 662,000-unit rate, down 0.3% from January but were up 5.9% from the 625,000 unit rate in February 2023.
      • Sales have now increased, on a year-over-year basis, for eleven consecutive months.
    • The inventory of unsold new homes slipped slightly, sliding to 456,000 units from 457,000 units at the end of January.
      • The current inventory, when combined with February’s sales pace, equates to 7.6 months of supply.
      • This is the lowest months of supply since July.
    • The median sales price declined to $400,500, the lowest level since June 2021.


New orders for manufactured durable goods increased in February after sliding in the previous two months.

    • New orders increased to a $277.9 billion rate, up 1.4% from January and followed a 6.9% decline in January.
      • Excluding the volatile transportation segment, new orders increased 0.5% and there was a slight decline in January.
    • New orders for primary metals increased 1.4%, while fabricated metal product new orders were up 0.8%.
      • Nondefense new orders for capital goods increased sharply, climbing 4.4% to a $84.3 billion rate.
      • Nondefense capital goods orders are a leading indicator of capital spending and manufacturing activity.
    • Unfilled orders for durable goods increased slightly and are up in eleven of the last twelve months.
      • Unfilled orders for transportation equipment led the increase, climbing 0.1%.




Confidence among US consumers held relatively steady in March after a slight pullback in February.

    • The January Consumer Confidence Index came in at 104.7, down slightly from the downwardly revised 104.8 reading in February.
    • The Present Situation Index increased, climbing to 151.0 from 147.6 in February.
    • The Expectations Index, a short-term outlook, slipped to 73.8, down from 76.3 previously, and was at its lowest level since October.
      • Any reading below 80 for the expectations component often signals a forthcoming recession.
      • The drop in the expectations component showed less optimism around overall family financials and future business conditions.





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.