The price of a steel product used in cars and construction hit an all-time high as Biden marches forward with $579 billion infrastructure plan

FILE PHOTO: A worker cuts a steel coil at the Novolipetsk Steel PAO steel mill in Farrell, Pennsylvania, U.S., March 9, 2018. REUTERS/Aaron Josefczyk
FILE PHOTO: A worker cuts a steel coil at the Novolipetsk Steel PAO steel mill in Farrell, Pennsylvania

  • The price of a key steel product used in construction and car manufacturing hit a record high Monday.
  • Hot-rolled coil for July delivery rose as much as 0.7% to a record $1,801 a short ton in New York after more than tripling over the last year.
  • Investors are betting Biden’s infrastructure spending on roads and bridges will boost steel demand.
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The price of a key steel product used in construction and car manufacturing hit a record high Monday as Biden marches ahead with his infrastructure spending plan.

Hot-rolled coil for July delivery rose as much as 0.7% to a record $1,801 a short ton in New York. Prices are up roughly 2.6% after the president secured a bipartisan infrastructure deal on Thursday.

Prices have more than tripled over the last year a part of a broader commodities rally. Investors have also bid up copper and iron ore in a bet that massive US spending to rebuild railroads, highways, and bridges will boost demand for metals.

On Thursday Biden threw his support behind a $1 trillion infrastructure deal negotiated by a group of Senate Republicans and Democrats. The framework, made public on Thursday after the White House meeting, includes funding for physical infrastructure such as roads and bridges. About $579 billion would constitute new spending beyond existing programs.

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Metal prices sink after China says it has zero tolerance for the commodity hoarders driving costs higher

iron ore
Visitors examine iron ore pellets produced by the LKAB mine in Kiruna, a mining town in the Swedish Arctic March 30, 2015.

  • Metals prices dropped Monday after China announced a strategy that could crack down on commodity hoarders who are driving costs higher.

  • Chinese steel rebar futures closed 2.7% lower and iron ore dropped 3%, according to Bloomberg data.
  • China will show “zero tolerance” for monopoly behavior and hoarding, said a report from the National Development and Reform Commission.
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Metals prices dropped Monday after China announced a strategy that could crack down on commodity hoarders who are driving costs higher.

Chinese steel rebar futures closed 2.7% lower and iron ore dropped 3%, after earlier being down more than 7%, according to Bloomberg data.

To push back against soaring commodities prices, China will show “zero tolerance” for monopoly behavior and hoarding and will continue to increase law enforcement inspections and investigate abnormal transactions, said a report from the National Development and Reform Commission.

The report was released after China summoned executives from top metals producers and officials from multiple government departments to talk about iron ore, steel, copper, and aluminium on Sunday.

The NDRC said that “excessive speculation” has disrupted the normal production and sales cycle in commodities and contributed to price increases. According to Bloomberg, the NDRC started warning about higher raw-materials prices in April.

Aluminum dropped 1.09% to $2,370 a ton on the London Metal Exchange. Copper was down 1.66% to $9,881 a ton.

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