CRC Prices Incline for USA in Early April 2024, Germany and China Still Seek a Rebound
CRC Prices Incline for USA in Early April 2024, Germany and China Still Seek a Rebound

CRC Prices Incline for USA in Early April 2024, Germany and China Still Seek a Rebound

  • 17-Apr-2024 4:42 PM
  • Journalist: Emilia Jackson

Towards the conclusion of the week ending on April 12th, there was a modest 0.4% upturn observed in Cold Rolled Coil (CRC) prices within the US market. This uptick was partly driven by heightened exports originating from nations such as Mexico and Canada, where demand remains strong. Simultaneously, there was a noticeable increase in domestic demand for CRC in the USA. Particularly the automotive sector experienced a significant surge in sales volume, escalating by 15.5% in March compared to the preceding month. Data sourced from FRED indicates that the Producer Price Index (PPI) for Metals and Metal Products, specifically Hot Rolled Steel Bars, Plates, and Structural Shapes, rose by 0.80% in March compared to the prior month's figures.

The German domestic market witnessed a 0.3% drop in CRC prices, while Petroleum Coke (Calcined) experienced a 1.9% decrease in March compared to the preceding month. This decline was primarily driven by persistently weak demand and negative buyer sentiment. Despite these lower prices, there was sluggish buying activity, resulting in slow trading conditions. Buyers expected further price reductions for CRC, but producers resisted, citing high input costs. They argued that current prices already covered their expenses and lowering them wouldn't spur market activity. Furthermore, the automobile sector saw a 6.23% decline in March compared to the previous year. Overall, these market dynamics reflect the delicate balance between buyer expectations, production costs, and market demand in these sectors.

CRC prices in China experienced a 0.5% decrease, coinciding with an 8.6% downturn in the Chinese coal market in March compared to the preceding month. This decline was influenced by several factors, including reduced raw material costs and subdued demand within the infrastructure segment. Additionally, disappointing macroeconomic indicators in the world's second-largest economy, coupled with persistent challenges in the property market, contributed to lower steel consumption rates. The waning demand from the real estate sector, alongside an increase in cold rolled coil production, led to elevated inventory levels. These conditions, particularly the diminished real estate investment, collectively resulted in a price reduction for CRC.

ChemAnalyst predicts that the anticipated improvement in demand from the automotive sector, coupled with limited inventories in the area, may cause a surge in CRC prices in coming weeks. Further, escalating crude oil costs resulting from ongoing tensions in the Middle East are further driving up prices for CRC in both the German and global market. China is also implementing strategies to rejuvenate its vulnerable real estate industry following regulatory interventions targeting developer leverage, which triggered a growing liquidity challenge that will also affect the CRC prices.

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