Metals and mining reminder: global steel production capacity utilization high in 8 months



Industrials (/lb): aluminum $0.87 (-0.3%), copper $2.63 (+0.6%), lead $1.07(+4.1%), molybdenum $6.80 (+0.0%); nickel $4.55 (-1.4%); zinc $1.30 (+1.0%);Precious (/oz): gold $1,249 (+0.3%), silver $17.54 (+0.0%); Steel (/mt): ChinaHRC $546 (-1.2%), SHFE Rebar $460 (-3.1%), MB Scrap Index $270 (+0.0%);Bulks: iron ore (/dmt) $85 (-2.6%), coking coal (/mt) $157 (+0.0%), freight (BCI)
2,378 (-2.6%); Energy: Brent (/bbl) $50.60 (-0.8%), WTI (/bbl) $48.04 (+1.5%),natural gas (/mmBtu) $3.01 (-2.7%), thermal coal (/t) $80 (-0.2%).World crude steel production increased 4.1% YoY to 127m tons in February(+1.7% MoM on days-adj. basis), with capacity utilization at 70.3% (+400bpsYoY, +110bps MoM). China’s output rose 4.6% YoY to 61m tons (+0.2%MoM). US production decreased 1.0% YoY to 6.4m tons (+1.0%). YTD globaloutput was 264m tons (+5.8% YoY). (WSA)

Cost to implement fuel-efficient standards for cars could be 40% lower thanestimated using turbo-chargers, advanced transmissions and light weightmaterials like aluminum instead of steel, per International Council on CleanTransportation. If true, this could pose a challenge for automakers who lobbiedagainst these standards on grounds of excessive cost. Recently, PresidentTrump ordered a review of the standards, which could lead to relaxation ofefficiency targets or slowdown in their implementation. (Reuters)
China domestic prices for cold-rolled coil (CRC) continues decline amid highinventories and rising output. Post recent rally, CRC prices have fallen ~15%since mid-Feb to RMB4,075/ton ($590/ton). Campaign to eliminate steelcapacity has not helped reduce output and steelmakers choosing to export lessand sell domestically is further aggravating the oversupply situation. (SBB))US stainless flats surcharges for series-300 expected to be up in April. ATIAllegheny Ludlum, AK Steel and North American Stainless published coldrolledsheet surcharges for Types 304 and 316 at 60c/lb and 76c/lb,respectively (vs. 59c/lb and 73c/lb in March). April surcharge for Type 430stainless sheet was relatively even with March at 32c/lb. (SBB)
US Hot-Rolled Coil (HRC) spot price rose $18/st WoW to $653/st on 3/22. HRand Cold-Rolled sheet spread contracted to $201/st (-$17/st WoW). Separately,NYMEX Dec. 2017 forward HRC price fell $5/st WoW to $595/st. (CRU, CME)Nucor announces $85m

investment to upgrade rolling mill at its steel bar millin Marion, Ohio. Having an annual capacity of 400kt, Nucor Steel Marion isOhio’s largest producer of rebar and signpost. Updating the mill technology isexpected to reduce operating costs, improve their competitive position andadd ~15 jobs at the mill. (Company)
SQM announces resignation of Board member, Julio Rebolledo D, with effectfrom April 27. (Company)