The reference prices of 20 steel products declined an average of 7.3% in September 2008, following an August slide of 3.9%. Even more pronounced than the finished steel price erosion, European and US scrap prices averaged with the declining spot market for iron ore posted a substantial 27% plunge in prices.
As a group, the Platts ferrous scrap reference prices declined some 29.5% in September 2008 as compared with August 2008. During the month, the price of A3 grade was down 32.9% to USD 357.27 per ton FOB Black Sea from August's USD 532.50 per ton. The price of HMS dropped 27.5% to USD 394.55 per ton FOB Rotterdam from USD 544.50 per ton the previous month. Ferrous scrap prices in the US market during September were down 27.9% to an average of USD 409.52 per long ton delivered to Midwest US mills from USD 568.33 per long ton in August 2008.
The Platts reference price of iron ore continued to plunge during September, falling 24.6% to an average of USD 121.09 per dry ton CFR North China from USD 160.57 per dry ton in August 2008. Rebar as a group, again charted the biggest finished steel drop in September, declining an average of 15.6%. Leading the fall was the Eastern Mediterranean reference price, down by 31.1% to an average of USD 792.05 per ton FOB Turkey, which came on the heels of a 22.17% decline from August's average of USD 1,149.00 per ton FOB Turkey. Import prices of rebar in the US also reflected the weakening global markets, declining 15.8% to a September average of USD 931.43 per short ton CIF Houston. Elsewhere, the export price of Chinese rebar fell 14.6% in September, closing with a monthly average of USD802.50 per ton FOB China, down from August's USD 940 per ton.
The Platts reference prices of hot-rolled coil in Europe, Asia and North America together posted an average decline in September of 8.5% led by a 19.4% dive in the Black Sea export price to an average of USD 825.91 per ton from August's USD 1,023 per ton FOB Black Sea. Also down by nearly 12% was the average price of HRC exported from China, which settled at USD 837.50 per ton FOB Shanghai as compared with August's USD 951.25 per ton. In the EU, imported HRC slipped 7.9% to an average of EUR 688.18 per ton CIF Antwerp, and domestic made material fell 2.8% to EUR 735.68 ex works Ruhr. HRC in the US market declined about 6% to an average of USD 990 per short ton ex works Indiana and dipped 3.3% to USD 996.19 per short ton CIF Houston.
The group of Platts cold rolled coil prices declined an average of 6.5% in September compared with August led by a 13.9% drop to USD 935.91 per ton FOB Black Sea from August's level of USD 1,087.25 per ton. Imported CIF Antwerp and domestic CRC prices in Europe also declined 6.5% and 4.2%, respectively. In the US, CRC September prices were down 3.1% for imported material and off 4.6% for CRC ex works Indiana.
The prices of imported and domestic plate in the US market, however, were up by an average of 6.2%, helping to drive an overall 1.4% up tick for this product. Plate prices in Europe lost a little ground in September.