The year 2018 closed with the best gain of jobs since 2015. Wages increased at highest rate in over a decade. Another positive for the economy is the easing of federal reserve interest rate hikes.
For now, it looks like the Federal Reserve will not raise interest rates in 2019. This will benefit a strong stock market and spur positive US economic growth.
A US federal government shutdown began on December 22, 2018 and is still in effect. As a result, reviews of Section 232 exclusion requests (for steel and aluminum) have stopped.
HRC Slightly Up
On January 3, hot-rolled coil prices were slightly up in the United States, with lead times averaging three to four weeks. Demand is good.
Steel prices are high by historical standards. Also, mill production is healthy. But, we’ll have to wait and see how Section 232 plays out in 2019.
Stock Market And Oil Price
Presently, there are a few concerns driving steel prices. US economic growth (stock market) and oil prices are having a large impact on steel prices.
Also, Chinese growth indirectly influences US steel prices – it is the second largest economy in the world. Recently, it’s growth has slowed.
We will have to wait and see how the markets look long-term. With the new Congress, government shut down etc., it will take at least a month to see a clear trend.
Benefits To Your Business
Ace Steel Supply works hard to read the steel market so we can offer a stable supply of what you need. Consider looking at a stocking program with us for even more benefits to your business.
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