You've all probably heard of Superman referred to as "the man of steel" because of his amazing strength, etc. Well, now it's time for you and me to become men of steel. No, I'm not talking about "pressing some iron" to build our muscles, although that is always helpful for our health.
I'm talking about it being time to have the guts to go into one of the most hated sectors of the stock market: steel stocks
Why in the world would anyone want to do that? Don't we know that steel stocks have buckled under the weight of China and the global economy slowing down, and as a result, caused a huge oversupply of iron ore and steel, which further caused their prices to crumble?
All of that is true, but all of that is also the past news, too, which still keeps it as the prevailing sentiment among investors today. But the facts are changing now and so it's time for us to change, too.
There are several things happening right now that's bullish for iron ore, steel and steel companies that haven't been the case for a very long time now.
For instance, the G-20 is meeting in Russia as I wrote this and they're talking about not only trying to stimulate the global economy by using monetary policy, but additionally they are encouraging the use of collective infrastructure spending to help boost economic growth.
The G-20 doesn't normally talk this way, but they are now. And that is good news for steel and steel stocks. Also, money isn't spent on infrastructure in a day and it's done. It's spent over time, which will cause steel stocks to get a lift for a long period of time as well.
Are there other signs that iron ore and steel are shaping up or is it all hinged upon the G-20? No, I'm seeing further proof from other sources that things are shaping up again in the iron ore and steel area.
For instance, Australia's Port Hedland, which is the world's largest bulk terminal, has said that iron ore shipments climbed in August as cargoes have increased to China. So that's another source saying things are perking up in this area.
They put some numbers to it and got more specific. They stated that a year ago, they'd shipped 22.8 million metric tons in a year, but now exports are totaling 27.4 million metric tons.
To prove the point that China is growing and demanding a lot more iron ore, of the 27 million metric tons, China had 22.3 million metric tons sent to them!
We also know that China's manufacturing data have turned a corner and we also know that China's slowdown never got as pronounced as many said that it would.
Not long ago, I was being interviewed on CNBC and they quoted some people calling for 3 percent growth out of China and asked what I thought about that. I told them it was ridiculous and that China could slow down into the 6 percent area at worst, but would likely hold in the 7 percents because that's what it's done for the past five quarters (ranging between 7.4 and 7.9 percent growth annually).
Some people may question China's data. I don't blame them. But heck, I question the U.S. data, too. However, what I trust more are things like these iron ore shipments. The bottom line: If they're growing at a good clip, they're going to be demanding more iron ore.
If growth is slumping, then they are going to pass on shipments or greatly lower the amount of iron ore they have shipped to them. Well, we can tell by the amount of iron ore being shipped that things are looking much better in China than many ever imagined. And that's great for iron ore, steel and steel stocks.
Last Thursday, I saw a Bloomberg article that talked about how "the fastest Chinese steel output on record is still too slow to meet demand from builders, reducing inventories and driving prices toward a bull market." And from what I'm seeing, I can believe that statement.
More Bloomberg data have shown that the production of steel reinforcement bars rose 14 percent since the first of the year and stockpiles have slumped 35 percent from their all-time high.
But it's not just a China revival story. For instance, steel prices have strengthened in the 28-nation European Union, also. Prices are up 6.5 percent just from the start of July, according to data from Metal Bulletin. And prices for hot-rolled coil (used in construction and cars) jumped 15 percent since the end of May, according to Steel Index Ltd.
And finally, MEPS Ltd. stated that global steel prices might increase 4 percent in 2014, after having contracted for the previous two years. Similar thoughts were echoed by the London-based Baltic Exchange, which publishes the shipping costs of over 50 maritime routes. They show that the rates for Capesizes, which are the biggest iron ore carriers, more than tripled this year to $17,854 per day. Now those rates only skyrocket like that when there is a huge amount of demand relative to the supply (the ability to get iron ore to the end customer).
So when considering all of these sources from all over the world confirming the same thing, and considering that China, Europe and the United States have continued to recover economically, and considering that steel and steel companies are starting to rise on their charts again, I'd say that the worst is behind these steel companies and the informed investor takes advantage of it by being a buyer of steel and steel stocks now.
The masses won't realize this change until at least many months from now. But my readers have been tipped off much earlier because I'm data-driven and not investor-sentiment-driven. When I see signs that things are changing and improving, I don't have to wait until more of the investing community agrees with me for me to pull the trigger on great steel companies and neither should you.
If you don't know what companies are worth buying, come join us in the Ultimate Wealth Report at www.ultimatewealthreport.com and see which steel stocks we are into. Let me do the hard work for you.
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About the Author: Sean Hyman
Sean Hyman is a member of the Moneynews Financial Brain Trust. Click Here to read more of his articles. He is also the editor of Ultimate Wealth Report. Discover more by Clicking Here Now.
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