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US HRC LME trading volume rises, still remains below 5,000 st

Dienstag, 21 Januar 2020

US hot-rolled coil trading volume on the London Metal Exchange was higher than the week prior, trying to reach the volumes between September and mid-December.

The volume of the contract traded over January 13-17 was at 4,170 st, compared to 1,950 st during the prior week. Since the contract’s launch in March, the volume traded totals 287,590 st.

Trade activity in the physical market remained high in the first half of January. The daily Platts TSI US HRC index was up $5 over the week to settle at $605/st on January 17.

Physical spot prices maintained their uptrend following a fifth round of price increases. Market sources noted steady demand starting the year, but remained cautious about the sustainability of the higher prices as some mills still have HRC lead times at around four weeks while others remain elevated at 6 to 8 weeks.

Market sources also echoed doubts about scrap prices during the next two months which might put downward pressure on flats prices.

There had been a contango between the first and second months for the LME US HRC contract since the first price hike. However, the curve turned backwardated through 15 months last week.

The January contract settled at $598/st Friday, up $2 on the week while the February contract settled down $11 at $593/st within the same time frame.

Moreover, the further end of the curve dropped significantly over the week. The three-month contract dropped $27 on the week to $571/st while the six-month contract dropped $24 to $560/st. Meanwhile, the 12-month contract dropped $26 to $557/st and the 15-month contract was $25 lower at $582/st.

-- Ali Oktay

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