US SBQ Spot Market Prices Slip

US SBQ spot market prices slip for most grades of special bar quality (SBQ) in AMM’s latest assessment on Friday 12/14 driven by late year discounting although overall demand remains strong.

Sources indicated that lead times stretch from late February to early March 2019.

  • The price for 1.000” Round 1000 series is down by $1.50/cwt to $45.00/cwt
  • Meanwhile 1.000” Round 1018 cold finished fell by $2.00/cwt to $63.50/cwt
  • 1.000” Round 4140 cold finished declined $0.75 to $83.25/cwt
  • 1.000” Round 12L14 cold finished edged down by $0.50 to $81.00/cwt

US Raw Steel Output Increased Last Week

US raw steel output increased 0.7 percent last week as mills operated at an ACUR of 80.6 percent. In the corresponding week last year mills operated at an ACUR of 71.9 percent. Thus far this year mills have produced prox 91,000,000 tons compared to the prox 86,000,000 tons produced in the like period last year.

Empire State Manufacturing Survey Reported Slower Growth

The Federal Reserve Bank of New York released its Empire State Manufacturing Survey and reported business activity grew at a slower pace in December than in recent months according to firms responding to the survey.

USA Drill Rigs Running Fell Last Week

The number of drill rigs running in the USA fell by four last week, led by New Mexico, down by five, to 1071, and Canadian drilling declined by twelve rigs to 174.

Short Term Interest Rates Raised

The Federal Reserve Bank raised short term interest rates by .25 percentage point to between 2.25% and 2.50% but officials signaled a milder path of rate increases over the next year in new projections.

December 2018 Manufacturing Business Outlook Survey Reports Subdued Growth

The Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia released its December 2018 Manufacturing Business Outlook Survey and reports manufacturing activity in the region continued to grow but remain subdued according to respondents to the survey. The survey’s broad indicators were positive but their movements were mixed this month.

LEI Increased in November

The Conference Board Leading Economic Index (LEI) increased 0.2 percent in November following a 0.3 percent decline in October and a 0.6 percent increase in September.

The LEI increased slightly in November, but its overall pace of improvement has slowed in the last two months,” said Ataman Ozyildirim, Director of Economic Research a t the Conference Board. “Despite the recent volatility in stock prices, the strengths among the leading indicators have been widespread. Solid GDP growth at about 2.8% should continue in early 2019 but the LEI suggests the economy is likely to moderate further in the second half of 2019.

Third Quarter GDP Growth 3.4%

GDP growth in the third quarter was 3.4 percent according to the “third” and final estimate by the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA)

Durable goods orders rose in November but core orders have slowed recently.

This is only my view from reading the news, seeing the stock market volatility etc. I think these pricks in Washington are trying to engineer a recession prior to the 2020 election. They will do whatever they can to neuter the Trump administration, its successes thus far and the future plans for America.

The Census Bureau Durable Goods Orders report for November 2018

  • New orders for manufactured durable goods increased 0.8% in November.
  • Shipments of manufactured durable goods in November, up three of the last four months, increased 0.7%.
  • Inventories of manufactured durable goods in November, up twenty two of the last twenty three months, increased 0.3%.

It All Starts With the Consumer

Despite slowing in other parts of the economy, a 0.4% consumer spending increase in November on top of big upward revisions to prior data means the consumer is on track to be a major driver of Q4 GDP growth …it all starts with the consumer.

Welcome to winter, it arrived at 3:23 est today.

And that is a wrap folks. We want to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas and a Happy Hanukkah.

Have a great weekend and holiday.