Posted: December 28th, 2010 | Author: Rod Sherkin | Filed under: Metals, Steel | No Comments »
Higher prices of key inputs such as iron ore and coking coal will force up steel prices in the coming year, but steelmakers may have difficulty passing on the full burden of the increases.
“Real demand continues to grow but at a slow pace. Due to the uncertainty over the 2011 economic picture, apparent market conditions are tough, which makes it a challenge to raise prices despite higher costs running through the business,” said Aditya Mittal, chief financial officer of ArcelorMittal, earlier this month.
Steel prices have ticked higher in recent weeks, helped by customers buying ahead of an expected price rise in the first months of next year.
U.K.-based consultancy MEPS International Ltd. said end-user demand for steel has improved slightly, but it’ still not very strong.
via Steelmakers Grapple With Price-Increase Pressures – WSJ.com.
Posted: December 28th, 2010 | Author: Rod Sherkin | Filed under: Copper, Metals, Uncategorized | No Comments »
Copper futures rose to a record in New York for a second straight day on speculation that supply will remain tight as demand in China and India continues to grow.
Copper futures for delivery in March rose 4.8 cents, or 1.1 percent, to close at $4.328 a pound at 1:13 p.m. on the Comex in New York. Earlier, the metal reached $4.335, the highest ever.
Copper has surged 50 percent since July 1, partly on demand from emerging markets including China, the world’s largest metals user.
via Copper Surges to Record in N.Y. on Rising Demand, Tight Supply – Bloomberg.com.
Posted: December 23rd, 2010 | Author: Rod Sherkin | Filed under: Labor | No Comments »
The U.S. had the sharpest increase in manufacturing productivity — output per hour of work — in 2009 of the 19 industrialized economies for which the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics keeps data: 7.7%.
via U.S. Manufacturing Productivity Strong in 2009 – Real Time Economics – WSJ.
Posted: December 22nd, 2010 | Author: Rod Sherkin | Filed under: Metals, Stainless Steel, Uncategorized | No Comments »
After many months of unchanged stainless steel basis values in the United States, they seem to be on the up. Inventories have been pared back to minimum levels and demand is improving consistently if not spectacularly. Strengthening LME nickel values over recent months will mean steadily climbing surcharges in the short term.
The forthcoming hikes in flat product basis prices, which have reportedly been mooted by all the US stainless producers, are almost certain to succeed. Higher basis numbers for long products, announced by some of the smaller mills during the fourth quarter, have now been adopted by the major players and will be in force from January 2011. Transaction figures for flat products will drop in January due to the lower surcharge. Thereafter, the MEPS North American Average Forecast for grade 304 cold rolled coil anticipates prices increasing in each of the following six months.
via stainless steel news, steel news, free steel news, steel industry news, steel price news, steel news alerts.
Posted: December 22nd, 2010 | Author: Rod Sherkin | Filed under: Steel | No Comments »
MEPS has noted a complete turnaround in the North American flat products market over the last month. US transaction values are moving up quite rapidly as producers release a succession of price proposals on the back of expectations of higher input costs. Moreover, tonnage for December is limited, partly because of increased export activity by a number of mills.
via STEEL INDUSTRY NEWS FROM MEPS INTERNATIONAL LTD, Steel Price News and Steel News Alerts, World Steel Price News, Steel Prices, Steel News, Steel Price, Steel Industry News.
Posted: December 16th, 2010 | Author: Rod Sherkin | Filed under: Metals, Steel | No Comments »
The price of hot-rolled coil steel in the US increased another $5/st Wednesday to a midpoint of $670/st ex-works Indiana, as buyers scrambled to secure what tons they could, according to both buy- and sell-side players. The price of cold-rolled coil was steady Wednesday, after both products jumped about $60/st Tuesday.
“Just about everyone is paying $680 now [for HRC],” said a big buyer in the Midwest, adding “there is word some mills are quoting export HRC deals at $660/st ex-works, so that might be the floor–but all but a few mills are booking February.”
via Panic buying still driving up US flat steel prices – Metals | Platts News Article & Story.
Posted: December 10th, 2010 | Author: Rod Sherkin | Filed under: Electronics | No Comments »
A power outage that lasted no longer than the blink of an eye has disrupted the world’s supply of a flash-memory chip used in everything from laptops to iPhones.
The problem occurred early Wednesday morning at a thermal-electric station in central Japan. It’s not clear what caused the disruption, but it led to a voltage drop that lasted 0.07 seconds. As a result, a Toshiba Corp. facility that makes NAND flash-memory chips was forced to shut down.
As a result, Toshiba said it expects its chip shipments to fall by as much as 20 per cent over the next two months. The incident spotlights the unforgiving nature of high-technology manufacturing, and the lack of slack built into supply chains for the most popular consumer electronic devices.
Any delay will be a blow to companies such as Apple Inc., which uses these chips in its iPhones and iPads. Toshiba is the world’s second-largest producer, behind Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd., and it accounts for more than one-third of the market. Analysts said the company’s production problems could send chip prices up by 10 per cent because supplies are already tight.
via Brief power outage disrupts Toshiba memory-chip shipments – The Globe and Mail.
Posted: December 9th, 2010 | Author: Rod Sherkin | Filed under: China, Steel | No Comments »
Steel prices in China, the world’s biggest producer, rose to the highest in almost seven months after production cuts reduced supply and as construction companies restocked.
Domestic prices for hot-rolled coil, a benchmark product, rose for a seventh straight day, by 0.3 percent, to 4,450 yuan $668 a metric ton yesterday, the highest since May 12, according to the Beijing Antaike Information Development Co.
Provinces including Hebei, Shandong and Zhejiang started to restrict power supply to steelmakers from September, reducing steel output. Construction sites in China’s southern provinces are increasing purchases of building materials, boosting steel demand, according to China International Capital Corp.
via Chinese Steel Prices Rise to 7-Month High on Supply, Restocking – Bloomberg.com.
Posted: December 6th, 2010 | Author: Rod Sherkin | Filed under: Best practices, CSR in purchasing, Greening the Supply Chain, Transportation | No Comments »
Shipping is less visible to the public compared with airlines and smokestack industries, making it less exposed to calls for regulation. Shipping also carries about 90 percent of global trade at rates of efficiency already far higher than most ground and air transport.
Yet emissions from shipping have soared in the past three decades as global trade has expanded, and that is upping the pressure on the industry to make improvements and to start compensating for its annual emissions, which the International Maritime Organization said might be as much as 1,260 million tons of carbon dioxide. That equates to 3.9 percent of the global output of carbon dioxide — or higher than the carbon footprint for aviation.
via Shipping Faces Calls to Lower Its Carbon Footprint – NYTimes.com.
Posted: December 3rd, 2010 | Author: Rod Sherkin | Filed under: Commodities | No Comments »
Commodities headed for the biggest weekly gain since October 2009 as global shortfalls of cotton and wheat drove agriculture prices higher.
The Thomson Reuters/Jefferies CRB Index of 19 raw materials rose 3.25, or 1 percent, to 315.35 at 1:31 p.m. New York time. A close at that level would mark a weekly gain of 4.7 percent.
Cotton was poised for the biggest weekly jump in 39 years after India put limits on exports. Heavy rain is eroding the quality of Australian wheat after a drought cut Russian grain output. The dollar tumbled against major currencies, boosting the investment appeal of energy, metals and crops. Crude oil rose to a 25-month high, and gold topped $1,400 an ounce.
via Commodities Head for Biggest Weekly Gain Since October 2009 – Bloomberg.com.