Spot steel pricing has closed its gap with the futures and price momentum is slowing as the recent surplus moves more into balance.
The Domestic – Global differential has widened further, driven by US prices regaining momentum after their three-week stall at $950. Global prices continue to gradually make gains since converging with the US price, despite China’s slip. Imports, after remaining subdued for the majority of the year, experienced a noticeable uptick, suggesting a higher risk for increased arrivals as we enter 2024. Meanwhile, US domestic production continues to hover at relatively low levels according to the AISI data, contributing to ongoing supply restraints.
- The global HRC spot price reached $724, with Turkey and Europe being the main drivers behind this most recent increase. Meanwhile, China’s price fell slightly – it’s first decline in 7 weeks.
- The Domestic – Global HRC spread rose to $376, surpassing the spreads seen in the spring of 2023 and approaching levels last seen in the January 2022 peak.
- The preliminary December imports estimated arrivals jumped to 887k, with November sitting at 737k.
- For the week ending on December 9th, capacity utilization ticked down by 3 to 73.8 percent, bringing domestic raw steel production down to 1.697m net tons.