In June 2014, Hot Rolled Steel and Cold Rolled Steel prices remained unchanged, Stainless Steel prices increased slightly and Aluminum decreased.
A recent industry report showed that the pace of growth in the U.S. manufacturing sector slowed very slightly in June, however, new orders accelerated to a six-month high. A separate report showed U.S. construction spending rose less than expected in May, which could prompt a downgrading of second-quarter economic growth estimates.
Aluminum – Prices decreased in this product during June. Aluminum prices have been experiencing a downward trend since January. Even though there have been significant production cuts both in Europe and America, prices have remained relatively soft due to stockpiles of metal that has accumulated over the years. Also, due to the low manufacturing costs in China and the Persian Gulf, the smelters in those regions have continued to increase production. This, in turn, offsets the lower production levels set by the western mills.
Carbon Steel – Prices remain unchanged in Hot Rolled steel and Cold Rolled steel in June. The U.S. market has been impacted by the increase of imported of steel products. When combined with the oversupply situation created by Chinese steel mills that have outpaced demand, pricing continues to be impacted. While healthy automotive demand, aggressive cost management and increased coke making capabilities are expected to benefit the steel mills, they are exposed to other operational challenges.
The World Steel Association does expect continued recovery in steel demand; they have forecasted a 3.1% increase for 2014, and they have projected that steel demand will increase by a further 3.3% in 2015. Improving demand will also boost steel prices.
Stainless – Prices of Stainless Steel increased further in June. In recent weeks Stainless mill deliveries have crept out to 6 months and orders beyond that date have been declined. The mills have been increasing the base price on this product since January 2014; also surcharges have been increased due to Nickel shortages. Order tonnages in the weeks following mills’ and end-users’ summer stoppages will give some sign of the future direction of the market, which at present has been quite bullish.
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