Coal and Steel ETFs Primed for 2010

Includes: KOL, PKOL, SLX
by: Tom Lydon

Steelmakers and steel ETFs are girding themselves for a prosperous 2010 after a prominent analyst forecast higher prices for the metal. Following close behind could be coal prices, which are predicted to surge 30% next year.

Recent price hikes for steel from several U.S. steelmakers has put the pressure on for higher steel prices early on next year. First quarter domestic steel prices are anticipated to go up as the pickup in demand will result from a recovery within the sector. Reuters reports that inventories at the mill, distributor and consumer level often provide a cushion against demand swings.

The cost of producing steel is certainly rising. According to The Hindu Business Line, the iron ore prices, which have seen a surge since the lows of June of about $50-60, are now trading at around $90-100 range, while coking coal prices saw lows of around $120 are now trading at around $170. Both of these are used to produce steel.

Analysts expect iron ore and coal prices to rise by as much as 30% in 2010 and steel prices are expected to follow suit.

  • Market Vectors Steel (NYSEArca: SLX): up 111.3% year-to-date

  • Market Vectors Coal (NYSEArca: KOL): up 144.5% year-to-date

  • PowerShares Global Coal (NYSEArca: PKOL): up 135.6% year-to-date