Analysts are not surprised by pullbacks in the benchmark hot-rolled sheet in coil (HRC) steel price as a result of weak end-use demand, comments Tom Stundza for Purchasing. Production has increased to almost 62% of capacity despite August U.S. steel mill shipments being down 37% from last year.

In a survey of steel buyers, 77% of participants think current inventory levels are sufficient for one or two months and 76% don’t plan on increasing steel orders. Over the next month, 24% expect incoming orders to decline, and 46% expect incoming orders to decline in the next three months. (For more information on steel, visit our steel category.)

Fore more information on industrial metals, visit our industrial metals category.

  • iPath DJ AIG Copper TR Sub-Idx ETN (NYSEArca: JJC): up 112.7% year-to-date

  • Market Vectors Steel ETF (NYSEArca: SLX): up 96.6% year-to-date

ETF SLX

  • iShares MSCI Chile Investable Mkt Idx (NYSEArca: ECH): up 67.4% year-to-date; materials constitutes 20.7%, including mining companies

ETF ECH

Max Chen contributed to this article.