Ferrous – In line with reports of slower U.S. manufacturing growth, Fastmarkets AMM reports that domestic hot-rolled coil dipped on Friday amid slower orders for December: “Hot-rolled coil prices in the United States went down slightly on Friday November 15, with some mills filling holes in their December order books at lowered prices, according to market participants.
Fastmarkets’ daily steel hot-rolled coil index, fob mill US was calculated at $26.33 per hundredweight ($526.60 per short ton) on Friday, down by 0.3% from $26.41 per cwt on November 14 due to certain deals for December delivery being concluded at discounted prices. “
Raw steel production in the United States for the week ending November 9, 2019 was down 2.2% year-on-year and down 1.4% from the prior week to 1.862 million net tons according to figures from the American Iron and Steel Institute. For the year-to-date, AISI reports “Adjusted year-to-date production through November 9, 2019 was 83,461,000 net tons, at a capability utilization rate of 80.3 percent. That is up 2.4 percent from the 81,484,000 net tons during the same period last year, when the capability utilization rate was 78.1 percent.”
But Fastmarkets also reports that Turkish steel buys have helped to underpin scrap tags this month: “Turkish steel mills continued their deep-sea scrap purchases for December deliveries during the week ended November 15, while prices were largely stable. Over the course of the week, mills booked five deep-sea cargoes from the United States, the Baltic Sea and the European Union, totaling around 180,000 tonnes. Despite these bookings at steady prices, market participants were still worried about the limited demand for long steel. The daily index for steel scrap, HMS 1&2 (80:20 mix), Northern Europe origin, cfr Turkey ended the week at $253.26 per tonne on November 15, compared with $255.01 per tonne on November 11. The daily index for steel scrap, HMS 1&2 (80:20 mix), US origin, cfr Turkey was $260.03 per tonne on Friday, slightly down from $261.79 per tonne on Monday.”
In Asia, Macquarie reports that “Mysteel weekly data showed China finished steel products continued destocking week by week post-Oct holiday. In this week, total inventory at traders and mills respectively destocked to 8.3Mt (-6% WoW; -3% YoY) and 4.4Mt (-4% WoW; +1% YoY). In the same period (Oct till now), sample mills’ finished steel weekly production has peaked in late-Oct and slowly decreased to 10.2Mt in this week (flat YoY), according to the same source. China’s NBS released production data for October today: Crude steel and finished steel production MoM further slowed to 81.5Mt (-0.6% YoY) and 102.6Mt (+3.5% YoY); dragging cumulative output YoY growth to 7.4% and 9.8% respectively.”
Despite a nearly 22% drop in shipments to mainland China, total U.S. aluminum scrap exports during Jan-Sep 2019 were up 13 percent year-on-year to more than 1.4 million metric tons according to figures from the U.S. Census Bureau. Significant gains to South Korea (+17%), India (+41%), Malaysia (+34%), Hong Kong (+196%), Indonesia (+53%), and Taiwan (+25%) more than offset the decline in Chinese demand and reduced trade flows with our NAFTA partners.
Here in the U.S., AMM was recently listing secondary aluminum prices at 32-35 cents for old cast, 33-35 cents for old sheet, 36-38 cents for painted siding, and 38-40 cents per pound for MLC.
Recovered Paper and Fiber –
Unlike with other scrap commodities, China remains the largest market for U.S. export sales of recovered paper and fiber. According to U.S. Census Bureau trade data, the U.S. exports nearly $808 million of recovered paper to mainland China during Jan-Sep 2019, following by India ($385 million), Mexico ($236 million), Canada ($125 million) and South Korea ($116 million). Overall, U.S. RP exports during the first 9 months were down 6.5% year-on-year to $2.2 billion and were down 6.7% by volume to 13.0 million metric tons (14.3 million short tons).