Would a Weak Steel Sector Do This?

A lot of investors are bearish on steel (and steel-making metals) these days. But there are some signs of strength from the industry lately.

As we’ve discussed, Korea’s molybdenum imports are up 50% so far in 2013.

Japanese players are also making some interesting moves. Today, Japan’s largest ferroalloy producer Nippon Denko said it will make its first acquisition in the mining business. Denko is buying a 12.25% interest in a South African manganese mine owned by Kudumane Manganese Resources.

Molybdenum imports have also been rising in Japan. May imports of moly oxide were up 30% from March, at 2,753 mt. And traders report that many Japanese importers are exercising “term options” for the third quarter, that allow them to purchase extra moly shipments.

Could be a blip in a down-trend. But it sure doesn’t look like the moves of an industry that’s down and out.

Here’s to the people of steel,

Dave Forest

dforest@piercepoints.com / @piercepoints / Facebook

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