Tex-Isle Steel Market Update, February 2020

Hot Rolled Coil prices have given up some of the gains achieved over the past few months, with one of the main reasons being the continued fallout of the corona virus in China. Domestic HRC reached a high of $618/ton back on January 15th, but has since retreated back below $600/ton. In December China accounted for over 55% of global steel production, over 84 million tons, and has often been a leading indicator of the metals industry as a whole. China has already extended its original Lunar New Year holiday, and will possibly continue it until February 17th. Many non-essential companies and factories have been closed since January 24th, with the impacts starting to ripple across global supply chains. As trade into and out of the “world’s factory” slows, inputs like iron ore and liquified natural gas have suffered price contractions. The effect has been somewhat muted so far in the United States, but should the outbreak continue, companies dependent on commodity pricing stand to suffer from the downward pressure on commodities