Wednesday, February 14, 2018

The February MMI Report: Seven of 10 MMIs Rise But Some Metals Cool Off

It’s that time — our latest Monthly Metals Index (MMI) report is in, covering the first month of 2018.  Seven out of 10 MMIs posted increases this month. The Renewables MMI was the star of the month, as skyrocketing cobalt and steel plate prices helped push the sub-index up 21 points for a reading of...

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from Metal Prices – Steel, Aluminum, Copper, Stainless, Rare Earth, Metal Prices, Forecasting | MetalMiner https://agmetalminer.com/2018/02/15/the-february-mmi-report-seven-of-10-mmis-rise-but-some-metals-cool-off/

This Morning in Metals: Japan’s JFE Holdings Plans to Spend $6B on Upgrades

This morning in metals news, JFE Holdings Inc. in Japan plans to spend $6 billion on upgrades in the coming years, the Congressional Steel Caucus asked the administration for guidance on the Section 232 action timeline and Shanghai copper posted its biggest price jump since October. Need buying strategies for steel? Try two free months...

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from Metal Prices – Steel, Aluminum, Copper, Stainless, Rare Earth, Metal Prices, Forecasting | MetalMiner https://agmetalminer.com/2018/02/14/metals-japans-jfe-plans-spend-6b-upgrades/

Monday, February 12, 2018

This Morning in Metals: Metal Firms Line Up to Bid for Distressed Essar Steel

This morning in metals, several companies are looking to buy the distressed Essar Steel India Ltd., copper prices bounced back up and gold prices are up. Need buying strategies for steel? Try two free months of MetalMiner’s Outlook Essar Steel on the Market Companies like ArcelorMittal and VTB Group are vying for embattled Indian firm...

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from Metal Prices – Steel, Aluminum, Copper, Stainless, Rare Earth, Metal Prices, Forecasting | MetalMiner https://agmetalminer.com/2018/02/12/metals-metal-firms-line-up-bid-essar-steel/

Stainless Steel MMI: LME Nickel Price, Stainless Surcharges Both Rise

The Stainless Steel MMI (Monthly Metals Index) jumped four points again this month for a February reading of 75.

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In January, skyrocketing LME nickel prices drove the Stainless Steel MMI. Nickel prices have climbed above the $13,000/mt level. 304 and 316 surcharges increased this month, returning to their previous levels.

LME Nickel

Nickel prices increased sharply during January. However, prices decreased slightly in early  February. As reported previously by MetalMiner, nickel price volatility has increased over the past few months. Therefore, nickel prices may prove quite tumultuous from a short-term perspective and are trading within the orange-dotted band in the chart below.

[caption id="attachment_90272" align="aligncenter" width="580"] Source: MetalMiner analysis of FastMarkets[/caption]

The long-term nickel price uptrend also remains strong. Prices have moved toward June 2015 levels and already breached our October 2017 long-term resistance levels, as per our Annual Outlook. Therefore, nickel prices remain in a strong uptrend and could continue increasing in the coming months.

Domestic Stainless Steel Market

Following the recovery in stainless steel momentum, domestic stainless steel surcharges increased this month. Surcharges remain above last year’s lows (under $0.4/pound); they remain in an uptrend, even if their pace has slowed. However, buying organizations may want to look at surcharges closely to reduce risks, either via forward buys or hedging.

[caption id="attachment_90273" align="aligncenter" width="580"] Source: MetalMiner data from MetalMiner IndX(™)[/caption]

FerroChrome vs. Chrome Metal

Two months ago, MetalMiner reported on the anomaly between ferrochrome and chrome metal prices.

[caption id="attachment_90274" align="aligncenter" width="580"] Source: MetalMiner data from MetalMiner IndX(™)[/caption]

Ferrochrome (FeCr) is a chromium and iron alloy containing 50% to 70% chromium by weight. Historically, Ferrochrome and chrome prices correlate tightly but the high iron ore prices caused ferrochrome to spike. However, both prices (ferrochrome and chrome) have fallen back to their historical trading pattern of moving together.

What This Means for Industrial Buyers

Stainless steel momentum appears in recovery, similar to all the other forms of steel. As both steel and nickel remain in a bull market, buying organizations may want to follow the market closely for opportunities to buy on the dips. To understand how to adapt buying strategies to your specific needs on a monthly basis, take a free trial of our Monthly Outlook now.

MetalMiner’s Annual Outlook provides 2018 buying strategies for carbon steel

Actual Stainless Steel Prices and Trends

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from Metal Prices – Steel, Aluminum, Copper, Stainless, Rare Earth, Metal Prices, Forecasting | MetalMiner https://agmetalminer.com/2018/02/12/stainless-steel-mmi-lme-nickel-price-stainless-surcharges-both-rise/

Friday, February 9, 2018

This Morning in Metals: Aluminum Industry Testifies to ITC on Foil Imports

This morning in metals news, aluminum industry officials testified to the U.S. International Trade Commission regarding the ongoing aluminum foil investigation, Mexico’s economy minister says automotive rules of origin will change as part of the ongoing renegotiation talks surrounding the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and copper is on track for its biggest weekly...

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from Metal Prices – Steel, Aluminum, Copper, Stainless, Rare Earth, Metal Prices, Forecasting | MetalMiner https://agmetalminer.com/2018/02/09/metals-aluminum-industry-testifies-itc-foil-imports/

Thursday, February 8, 2018

GOES MMI: GOES M3 Prices Fall Slightly as Imports Rise

The GOES MMI (Monthly Metals Index), which tracks, grain-oriented electrical steels, fell one point to 188 as other flat-rolled steel products saw a price increase.

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Meanwhile, imports continue to grow, but none of the growth has come from China. In fact, Japan and the U.K. supplied the bulk of the imports in January. Buying organizations continue to report to MetalMiner they import grades of electrical steel not currently produced by the sole domestic producer, AK Steel. (See the latest import data below.)

[caption id="attachment_90225" align="aligncenter" width="585"] Source: International Trade Administration and MetalMiner Analysis[/caption]

AK posted a Q4 loss but CEO Roger Newport made a number of comments regarding electrical steels during the most recent earnings call that indicated why the company supports strong Section 232 import measures:

“As we previously stated, we strongly believe that the ongoing high level of imports is a threat to the national security of our country…

Imports of grain oriented electrical steels, also known as GOES have more than doubled year-over-year and these imports are coming primarily from Japan, Korea and China. In my opinion this surge of GOES imports stems from a deliberate effort on part of these and other countries to beat the clock on any future 232 remedies and also by the Chinese trade protection causing Korea and Japan to send products to the United States.”

Unlike other steel products, such as tubular goods, cold-rolled steel, hot-dipped galvanized steel, solar panels and washing machines, MetalMiner is not aware of a single circumvention case for grain-oriented electrical steels.

Meanwhile, Bank of American Merrill Lynch analyst Timna Tanners double downgraded AK Steel on weak first quarter guidance and “lack of catalysts” to improve margins.

In Other Producer News...

ThyssenKrupp and Tata Steel have finally announced a joint-venture in Europe with the goal of becoming “a leading European flat steel provider and position it as a quality and technology leader,” according to a ThyssenKrupp press release. Both ThyssenKrupp and Tata have GOES production capability.

MetalMiner’s Annual Outlook provides 2018 buying strategies for carbon steel

Exact GOES Coil Price This Month

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from Metal Prices – Steel, Aluminum, Copper, Stainless, Rare Earth, Metal Prices, Forecasting | MetalMiner https://agmetalminer.com/2018/02/08/goes-mmi-goes-prices-fall-slightly-imports-rise/

Global Precious MMI: Palladium-Platinum Gap Narrows, Moves Closer to Historical Norm

The Global Precious MMI (Monthly Metals Index) picked up one points this month, rising to 92 for our February reading. Need buying strategies for steel in 2018? MetalMiner’s Annual Outlook has what you need Within the basket of metals, Chinese gold bullion and U.S. silver ingot/bars picked up in price. Palladium, which has bucked the historical trend by...

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