Steel Products

Mill Lead Times & Mill Negotiations: Only Marginal Movement

Written by John Packard

Lead times slipped slightly across the board compared to where we saw them at the beginning of August.

The lead times reported by those responding to our Steel Market Update (SMU) steel survey dropped from 4.5 weeks on hot rolled (weighted average) to 4.11 weeks. This is still well above where we were reporting lead times earlier this summer and is slightly higher than what we saw one year ago.

Cold rolled lead times also slipped slightly from 6.35 weeks to 5.96 week, galvanized from 6.42 weeks to 6.18 weeks and Galvalume remained almost the same at 6.75 weeks vs. the 6.18 weeks reported by SMU during the beginning of August.

Mill Negotiations Remain “Firm”

In our most recent steel market survey which ended earlier today (Thursday) we found our respondents as being fairly consistent in reporting mills are mostly ambivalent to the idea of negotiating lower prices with their spot customers. We saw a slight expansion in interest (to negotiate) in cold rolled moving from 30 percent to 42 percent.  Galvanized continued to be the weakest product with 43 percent of our respondents reporting some movement by the mills as they negotiated prices over the past few days.

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