By Lisa Reisman
A small 3% price bump in the monthly GOES M3 index doesn't tell us a whole lot, however, it suggests that prices may have found a floor back in the November/December 2015 time frame.
Part of finding that floor may have come from good, old-fashioned supply and demand. Consider that the comments from Allegheny Technologies, Inc., Chairman, President and CEO Rich Harshman recently indicated that he would be taking "rightsizing actions" to return ATI's flat products group to profitability as quickly as possible.
Furthermore, speaking of two recent closures he said, "The future restart of the Midland and GOES operations respectively will depend on future business conditions and ATI's ability to earn an acceptable return on invested capital on products produced at these operations."
This type of action, particularly the shutdown of the ATI GOES line, helps to bring some additional balance to the market. The rest of the steel industry will need to follow suit to support HRC prices, but that's another story.
In addition, TEX Reports suggests that one of the big Chinese mills will suspend two of its commodity grain-oriented sheet lines. MetalMiner could not identify any corroborating source as of press time.
Meanwhile, the most recent import trade data shows a 19% decline in transformer part imports:
While wound cores held steady: