MORTGAGE APPLICATIONS CONTINUE TO INCREASE
Mortgage applications increased 2.9% from last week and have now grown for three consecutive weeks. The Refinance Index increased 5% from the previous week but was still 61% lower than the same week one year ago. The Purchase Index also increased 2% compared to last week while the 30-year fixed rate declined to 6.45%, the lowest level in over a month.
After sliding the previous four weeks, zinc pricing has seen a slight uptick for the second straight week.
Zinc pricing came in at $1.33/lb this week, up from last week but remains near its lowest level since early November.
- The recent unsettling around the banking industry has pushed the U.S. dollar higher, which inverse negatively impacts commodity pricing.
After the run up over the previous three months, spot iron ore pricing has remained steady over the past couple of weeks.
- Spot iron ore pricing is currently at $129.06/mt, up slightly from last week and is up nearly 3% from last month and up 16.5% over the last 90 days.
A wave of new supply, combined with a weaker demand environment has helped to push coking coal pricing lower as of late.
- Coking coal pricing currently sits at $317/mt, down 6.2% from last week and down 8.6% from a month ago.
- Despite the recent pullback in pricing, the current level remains 7.6% above the price at the beginning of the year.
After climbing the previous two weeks, U.S. raw steel production slipped slightly last week.
- U.S. steelmakers produced 1.679 million tons at an 75.1% utilization rate.
- Despite the recent increase, YTD production is down 4.5% compared to last year.
Preliminary March import licenses, (27 days), showed carbon flat rolled imports are up 5.8% from the same time in February.
- Coated import licenses are up as well from February, as the daily rate in March is up 4.5%.
Global steel production, on a per/day basis, increased for the second consecutive month in February.
- February global production came in at a 5.084 million metric ton/day rate, up 1.4% from January but still down 1.0% from the 5.134 million metric ton/day rate in February 2022.
- This is the fourth consecutive month in which production declined on a year-over-year basis.
- While Chinese production was flat, production from the rest of the world continued to climb.
- Global production, ex-China, increased to a 2.225 million metric ton/day rate, the highest daily rate since June.
- North American production increased for the second consecutive month after sliding the previous seven months.
- U.S. production increased to a 216,000 metric ton/day rate, the highest level since September.
Mortgage applications increased 2.9% from last week and have now increased in three consecutive weeks.
The Refinance Index increased 5% from the previous week but was still 61% lower than the same week one year ago.
The Purchase Index increased 2% compared to last week but was down 35% from the same week one year ago.
- Application activity increased as the 30-year fixed rate declined to 6.45 %, the lowest level in over a month.
Confidence among U.S. consumers increased slightly in March after slipping in February.
The Conference Board’s Consumer Confidence Index came in at 104.2 in March, up from 103.4 in February.
The Present Situation component slipped slightly, sliding to 151.1 from 153.0 previously.
The Expectations component, based on consumers’ short-term outlook, came in at 73.0.
- This is up from 70.4 in February but remains below the key level of 80.0.
- The Expectations component has now been below 80.0, an indicator of a recession within the next year, in twelve of the last thirteen months.
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.