INDEXES: BIG Jumps this week…
HR: Up $20/ton ($1.00/cwt), climbing to $772 ($38.60)…not even close to unprecedented pricing though (yet?)…
Last time HR was this high was 2011…high water mark that year was $888 ($44.40)….and let’s not forget (who could?)
2008, when in May of that year, HR hit $1125 ($56.25)
CR: Up $12/ton ($0.60/cwt), reaching $919 ($45.95)
GV: Leaps $32/tom ($1.60/cwt), hitting $993 ($49.65)
CAPACITY UTILIZATION: Mills reaching highest levels of output in three years….ran at 79% utilization last week, highest output since beginning of 2015 (HR was at $560/$28.00 at that time, go figure?). Look for the mills to continue to pump out product….and why not, they’re obviously making great money these days….
Additionally, the recent 232 announcement of tariffs at 25% still lacks clarity. As I had mentioned to our futures broker, the 232 stuff has been akin to “nailing jello to a tree”. We shall see where the exemptions lie and how the rest of the trading partners are treated. These are certainly interesting times! Inventory draw downs, lead-times extending and offshore material abated will make for tough going for some in the steel supply chain.