UNITED STATES March 15 2017 4:33 PM
NEW YORK (Scrap Register): United States HRC Steel prices fell in February as anticipated by many in the market due to the usual seasonal slowdown in trade, said the Steel Index.
In the first ten days of the month, scrap prices dipped, removing cost support and leaving room for HRC prices to follow suit. Uncertainty around the extent of future price falls prompted spot buyers to retreat from the market.
The daily US HRC benchmark fell $9 a short ton over a four -week period to close at $620 a short ton at the end of February. The price of US HRC has consistently climbed since November and despite this dip in February, market participants remain bullish looking to March and April.
Month-on-month, HRC delivery lead-times (DLT) decreased slightly. At the start of January they stood at 4.7 weeks and ended February at 4.5 weeks. Many in the market predict a shortening of lead times in the near future.
The value of the monthly US shredded scrap 10-day average index dropped by 10.5% to 231 a long ton in February, further supporting the predicted drop in price of US HR coil.
Customs data from the US Department of Commerce for February indicates a month-on-month decrease in flat rolled steel imports in February. South Korea was the only country in February to increase its flat rolled exports to the US.
President Trump recently announced that despite previous conversations, the Keystone XL pipeline project will not be required to use domestically made steel products due to the fact that the project commenced before President Trump took office.
The US steel industry was excited about the official appointment of Wilbur Ross as the new US Secretary of Commerce.