International Steel Prices

World Export vs. Domestic HRC Price Spread Down $10

Written by John Packard

Earlier this week SteelBenchmarker reported their latest world export price for hot rolled steel at $501 per net ton ($552 per metric ton), unchanged from their price two weeks ago. With an estimated $70 per ton in freight, handling and trader margin added, that puts the world price at approximately $571 per ton CIF USA Port. The latest Steel Market Update hot rolled price average is $675 per ton, unchanged from the previous week but down $10 per ton from two weeks ago.

The theoretical spread between the world export price and the SMU US HRC price is now $174 per ton ($104 with freight costs included), $10 per ton less than what we reported two weeks ago.

The $104 spread represents a significant change from mid-March 2014 when we had a spread of $45 per ton ($155 prior to freight and other costs being added).

One year ago the spread was $80 per net ton prior to freight, handling and traders margin which we calculate to average about $70 per ton. So, at this time last year, there was no incentive to buy foreign hot rolled coil.

However, actual steel offers on hot rolled coil are relatively limited as many traders are shying away from Russian steel at this moment, and the actual CIF Duty Paid FOB Port offers are around $620 per net ton (selling prices). This puts the actual spread at $55 per ton based on our index and about $10 per ton higher for Platts which is at the high end of the range at the moment.

Below is an interactive graph which you can use to compare world export prices against the SMU domestic HRC average price. We also have included a comparison with freight and traders costs added which gives you a better indication of the true price spread (assuming the U.S. offers are not being bumped up by the foreign producing mills or trading companies). You will need to read this article on our website in order to see and interact with the graphic. If you need assistance with eiher logging in or accessing the article in the format you wish to read it in please contact our office: 800-432-3475 or

{amchart id=”130″ Domestic vs. Foreign Hot Rolled Pricing- Steel Benchmarker World China Europe}

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