In their Feb. 10 Core Report, Majestic Steel USA analysts shared insights on the cost, supply, demand and economy of steel markets.


Scrap pricing continued its upward momentum in February following increases over the two months prior. Prime scrap recently settled at $455/gt, up $30/gt from January and $130/gt from November.

Majestic Steel reports this bucks a long-term trend of price declines in February. Prime scrap prices haven’t increased in February for over 10 years. Shredded scrap also increased $30/gt since November, coming in at $440/gt.

“Tighter scrap availability, strong demand, higher hotrolled prices, and strong export activity continues to push prices higher,” Majestic Steel analysts said.

Spot iron ore

Despite a recent dip in prices, iron ore is still at $125.50/mt, up nearly 45% since November.

According to the Majestic Steel report, “China is expected to tick up following the Chinese New Year which ended last week, and as the Chinese economy reopens post COVID lockdowns.”


Zinc pricing ended the week of Feb. 10 at $3,118/mt ($1.414/lb), down from $3,360.50/mt ($1.524/lb), the lowest point for the commodity in 2023. However, analysts say tight inventory will keep prices within this range for the short term.

According to Majestic Steel’s report, LME warehouse inventory increased this week after sliding twenty-one straight weeks and hitting an all-time low the week prior. Shanghai warehouse spiked for the second consecutive week.

Coking coal

Coking coal prices have gone up nine of the last ten weeks, ending the week of Feb. 10 at $350.25/mt, up over 50% in the last month.

According to the Majestic Steel report, supply disruptions caused by rain, train derailment and a Queensland mine collapse caused surge pricing.

Steel production

The week of Feb. 10, U.S. mills produced an estimated 1,656k tons at a 74.1% utilization rate, up from 1,635k tons and a 73.1% rate previously. This is the highest output since November. However, year-to-date production is now down 10.2% compared to last year.

Dodge Momentum Index

After 10 months of increases, the Dodge Momentum Index fell in January. The January DMI came in at 201.5, down 8.4% from the revised 222.0 reading in December.

According to the Majestic Steel report, declines in office, warehouse, retail, and hotel activity brought the commercial component of the DMI lower, while education and amusement projects pushed the institutional component lower.

HVAC equipment shipments

Year-to-date shipments are now down 4.6% compared to the first eleven months of 2021. Furnace shipments (-23%) saw the largest decline, while water heater and A/C & heat pump shipments declined 10.9% and 2.2%, respectively, according to the Majestic Steel report.

Weekly initial jobless claims

After sliding five consecutive weeks, the number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment benefits increased slightly in the week of Feb. 10. Despite the tick up, this remains the lowest level for claims since April 2022.

The Department of Labor’s Weekly Initial Jobless Claims report came in at 196,000 claims, up from 183,000 claims previously.  

“The labor market remains resilient despite growing economic headwinds from the Federal Reserve's interest rate increases,” the report concludes.

To learn more, read the Core Report here.