UNITED STATES November 15 2016 9:24 AM
NEW YORK (Scrap Register): US HRC steel prices fell in the month of October due to a lack of demand in end-user markets. As the month progressed, activity became scarce as the market anticipated further falls. Mills responded by bringing forward scheduled outages as service center inventories decreased, said the Steel Index.
According to TSI, daily US HRC benchmark slumped $45 a short ton over a four-week period to close at $476 a short ton at the end of October—its lowest level since early May 2016.
Despite the drop in price, HRC delivery lead-times increased slightly in October, starting the month at 3.3 weeks from order, and finishing the month at 3.8 weeks indicating a potential for an upswing in price going into November.
In October TSI’s shredded scrap 10-day average index dropped by $21 a long ton to $201 a long ton, providing little impetus for higher HRC prices.
Mill capacity utilization decreased throughout October from 68.9% down to 66.4% by the end of the month.
Crude steel production dropped to 1.575 million short tons, down from 1.611 million s. tons earlier in the month, according to American Iron and Steel Institute data.
Much of the decrease in steel production was attributed to scheduled mill outages which were brought forward as a result of the low price environment.
Sheet imports into the US have continued to drop steadily since July, according to the US Dept. of Commerce.