Posted: January 3rd, 2012 | Author: Rod Sherkin | Filed under: Steel, Uncategorized | Tags: steel | No Comments »
The price of steel has diverged sharply in the US and Europe, underscoring the differing economic fortunes of the two regions.
The $500bn-a-year steel market is one of the best barometers of the health of the manufacturing and construction sectors, and the rare split in transatlantic prices offers an insight into business sentiment in the US and Europe as companies prepare to report their annual results.
The price of benchmark hot-rolled coil steel in the US Midwest rose to $756 a tonne in December, 12.5 per cent higher than in November, according to CRU, a leading consultancy.
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Posted: November 23rd, 2011 | Author: Rod Sherkin | Filed under: Aluminum | Tags: aluminium | No Comments »
Three-months aluminum fell as far as $2,054.75 a metric ton on the London Metal Exchange Monday, the lowest level in 14 months and down 27% from the May peak of $2,803 a ton.“As a result, increasing numbers of aluminum smelters are becoming unprofitable and are temporarily shutting down production.”
Aluminum prices have fallen below the cost of output for many producers, creating a scenario in which global production may suffer in the months ahead if prices do not recover. Like other base metals, aluminum has tumbled from its highs earlier in the year on worries about the strength of the global economy and thus potential industrial demand, particularly as the European sovereign-debt crisis continues.
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Posted: November 9th, 2011 | Author: Rod Sherkin | Filed under: Aluminum | Tags: aluminium | No Comments »
The biggest decline in aluminum prices since the global recession means at least 25 percent of the world’s smelters may be unprofitable.
The metal fell 23 percent to $2,125 a metric ton on the London Metal Exchange since May 1 and energy costs gained 12 percent in the past month.
Twenty-five percent of production loses money below $2,350 and 50 percent under $2,000, according to estimates by Bloomberg Industries. About 10 percent of output may be shut by the first quarter, said Jochen Hitzfeld, the analyst at UniCredit SpA in Munich ranked by Bloomberg as the most-accurate price forecaster over two years.
via Aluminum Slump Means 25% of Smelters Losing Money: Commodities – Bloomberg.
Posted: November 1st, 2011 | Author: Rod Sherkin | Filed under: Steel | Tags: steel | No Comments »
In the US, flat products transaction prices fell in October despite the fact that the domestic mills had proposed further rises for the fourth quarter, on top of those noted last month.
Delivery lead times are relatively short. Producers do not have full order books and have had to offer discounts to try to stimulate demand. Distributors report that their business is just about satisfactory but likely to slow as the year-end approaches. Consequently, they are cautious regarding their forward purchasing levels.
via Steel prices decline in all regions of the world during october – MEPS.
Posted: October 30th, 2011 | Author: Rod Sherkin | Filed under: Aluminum | Tags: aluminium | No Comments »
Reuters reported that the US primary aluminum market is seeing a surprisingly strong burst in spot purchases at the start of the quarter with supplier order books filling up even as volatile financial markets dispel recovery hopes.
The demand pickup has caught physical market players by surprise many of whom expected the seasonally slower Q4 to close out 2011 with a whimper. So far it is shaping up to be a busier than normal quarter.
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Posted: October 27th, 2011 | Author: Rod Sherkin | Filed under: Copper, Metals | Tags: aluminium, Copper, lead, metal, nickel, tin, zinc | No Comments »
On the London Metal Exchange, copper for delivery in three months rose 6.1 percent to close at $8,145 a metric ton ($3.69 a pound) at 6:32 p.m. This week, the commodity has jumped 14 percent, poised for the biggest increase since Bloomberg data starts in April 1986.
Copper futures for December delivery advanced 5.8 percent to $3.692 a pound on the Comex in New York. This month, the price has surged 17 percent, heading for the largest gain since March 2009.
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Posted: October 24th, 2011 | Author: Rod Sherkin | Filed under: Copper | Tags: Copper, copper future | No Comments »
Copper futures surged 7.1%, ending at a one-month high as strong manufacturing data from top consumer China and hopes for a European debt deal sent investors who had bet against the industrial metal rushing to reverse those positions.
The contract for October delivery rose 22.8 cents to settle at $3.447 a pound on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange, the highest settlement price since Sept. 22.
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Posted: October 20th, 2011 | Author: Rod Sherkin | Filed under: Iron ore, Steel | Tags: iron ore, steel | No Comments »
Prices of fines with 62 percent iron content delivered to the port of Tianjin plunged 18 percent in the past six weeks after reaching $191.90 on Feb. 16, the highest since at least 2008, The Steel Index data show. The cash price hasn’t traded at less than $140 per ton since September 2010. Swaps for December are at $126.87 per ton, according to Singapore Exchange Ltd.
Iron ore’s biggest decline in 15 months may worsen as the economy slows in China, the largest importer, the European debt crisis persists and BHP Billiton Ltd. (BHP) and Rio Tinto Group increase production, analysts said.
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Posted: September 30th, 2011 | Author: Rod Sherkin | Filed under: Copper | Tags: Copper, metal | No Comments »
Copper, which reached a record $10,190 on the London Metal Exchange in February, sank to $6,800 on Sept. 26, a 14-month low. The contract traded at $7,067.50 today, taking this year’s decline to 26 percent. The metal is on track for its second- worst year in almost a quarter century, exceeded only by a 54 percent retreat in 2008.
The biggest rout in copper since the global recession drove analysts to cut their price forecasts by 16 percent in a week as mounting concern about growth eroded expectations for supply shortages.
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Posted: September 29th, 2011 | Author: Rod Sherkin | Filed under: Rare Earths | Tags: rare earth | No Comments »
Declines in August and September pared a five-month, fourfold surge that brought the average price for eight of the most widely used rare-earth oxides to a record 396,850 yuan ($62,068) a metric ton in July, data from consultant Shanghai Steelhome Information show. The average price declined 13 percent from its July peak as of Sept. 27.
Rare-earth prices are set to extend their decline from records this year as buyers including Toyota Motor Corp. and General Electric Co. scale back using the materials in their cars and windmills.
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