Our Metal Price Trends series provides monthly insight into industry news and economic activity affecting global metal prices, and empowers Metal Supermarkets customers to make timely and informed decisions when purchasing metal.
In September 2014, prices remained stable for Aluminum, Hot Rolled Steel, and Stainless Steel while Cold Rolled increased. The Canadian manufacturing sector cooled last month as production slowed and new orders for exports stalled.
Aluminum – Prices were unchanged for the month of September. The Aluminum market has been getting mixed signals over the past few months. On the positive side, more of the automotive sector is using more aluminum in their latest model vehicles; ship building companies are using more of the metal in the production of ships. These developments as well as the increase in costs for raw materials such as alumina, whose output has been curtailed by capacity cuts, are expected to impact aluminum pricing. However, global smelting capacity restarts in response to higher aluminum price potential and shortages may bring lower than expected price increases.
Carbon Steel – Cold Rolled steel prices increased, while Hot Rolled Steel prices remained steady during September. Employees at US Steel Canada, Inc.’s Hamilton Works facility in Hamilton, Ont., have ratified a new collective agreement with the company. The agreement, (good through March 31, 2017) was reached as the company negotiates a court-supervised plan after US Steel (Canada) filed for creditor protection last month. The collective agreement covers about 600 employees at the steel mill. The improvement of steel demand when combined with the new restrictions on foreign supply, are effectively raising import pricing, and elevating the domestic price of steel for producers.
Stainless – Prices remained relatively stable in September. While a few niche sectors have reported strong results, mediocre demand has certainly played a part in keeping prices in check. The promised increase in manufacturing activity in the developed world has yet to materialize. The weak nickel price trend has also kept prices level, due to the recent developments regarding the Philippines. This has coincided with the recent agreement of lower chromium prices for the fourth quarter.
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