The boom-and-bust cycle in the shipping sector has far-reaching consequences. But even if the Chinese economy keeps pumping along, it may not entail bullish days ahead for steel stocks.
The biggest steel producer in the world is shutting down mills throughout Western Europe but the Russians are expanding to fill the gap.
The chief executives of the world’s biggest steel companies gathered this week in the City of Light amidst storm clouds looming on the industry’s horizon.
China’s steel mills curbed their output over the summer, driving inventories of finished steel products well below historical averages and giving global steel prices a lift.
ArcelorMittal is the world leader in steel, producing about 8% of all of the metal that finds its way into girders, cars and endless appliances. And its latest results are surprising the analysts.
A nice reversal today as the dollar gives back a little ground. There is an entire basket of oversold names here to choose from.
Commodities prices on a headline basis do not look like they have come down much off their highs. If anything, they have surged onward, so why are the mining stocks suffering?
Posco, one of the world’s biggest steel companies, sold 24% more of its product into Asia’s steel-hungry factories last quarter, but its profits still sank 8% as costs climbed faster.
The Korea-based giant confessed that its operating margins sank 4 full percentage points between July and September because strong global competition made it impossible to pass on rising iron ore and coal prices to its customers.
As a result, the company’s net slid $88 million even though its overall sales in the quarter increased dramatically — effectively, there was a lower incentive for it to process each ton of ore into finished steel.
The company did manage to raise its prices at the start of the second quarter, but this news indicates that the iron miners still have the upper hand — which is great news for the giants VALE (quote), BHP (quote) and RIO (quote) — and that the new system of pricing iron ore supply contracts on a quarterly basis is still generating plenty of short-term volatility in the industry.
PKX (quote) is moving