Steel Mills

Flat Rolled Sheet Mills Marching to the Same Tune

Written by John Packard

With the announcements by NLMK USA, Nucor and ArcelorMittal USA on Monday, it is quite clear that the flat rolled steel mills are marching to the same drummer when it comes to carbon sheet pricing.

All of the announcements made on Monday reflected the same base price levels:

Hot Rolled = $35.00/cwt ($700 per ton)

Cold Rolled = $40.50/cwt ($810 per ton)

Galvanized & Galvalume = $40.50/cwt ($810 per ton)

All applicable extras to apply. Prices referenced are FOB the producing mill.

AK Steel and Severstal NA had made similar announcements in early November but at that point in time the mills were reluctant to push prices much higher for fear of inviting more imported steel into the country. Since then scrap prices have moved up by approximately $20 per gross ton (and higher on some items) and are projected to rise again when we move into January 2014. At the same time there has been movement in foreign steel prices which are moving up from lower levels seen 30 to 60 days ago.

One steel buyer told SMU earlier today (Tuesday, December 24th) that the timing of the announcements was interesting in light of the Christmas Holidays which are immediately followed by the New Year Holiday. Their theory was the domestic mills are setting the stage for when everyone returns from Holiday. “I think [the announcements] just sets tone for the week so already in place when we get back next week as opposed to hitting us in the face after we return.”

This same buyer told Steel Market Update that there had been some erosion happening in hot rolled prices just prior to these announcements. Discussions had moved away from $680 and were getting to the $660 level in the Midwest. Steel Market Update prices remained unchanged this week at an average of $670 per ton.

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