Steel Products Prices North America

SMU Price Ranges & Indices: A Tale of Two Cities?

Written by Brett Linton


Trying to keep up with steel prices and production is proving to be quite an exercise. As we were preparing to publish we were chasing a story about AK Steel having issues with their Ashland blast furnace. At the same time we are gathering data from large buyers that is taking the lower end of the hot rolled range down to $640 per ton for buys of around 5,000 tons. We have not yet seen those numbers in the Midwest probably because of the issues with US Steel, ArcelorMittal and (maybe once again) AK Steel. On the other end of the spectrum we are seeing coated products as being pretty resilient over the past few weeks with most buyers paying $39.50/cwt type base price levels. As with hot rolled there are regional differences and the influence of foreign is starting to sneak into negotiations between buyers and their steel mill salespeople.

Here is how we are seeing prices this week:

Hot Rolled Coil: SMU Range is $650-$690 per ton ($32.50/cwt- $34.50/cwt) with an average of $670 per ton ($33.50/cwt) FOB mill, east of the Rockies. Both the lower and upper ends of our range remained the same compared to last week. Our average is unchanged compared to last week. SMU price momentum for hot rolled is for prices to slide over the next 30 days. We are not expecting a collapse of the market due to production issues holding supply in check but, there are chinks in the armor…

Hot Rolled Lead Times: 3-7 weeks.

Cold Rolled Coil: SMU Range is $760-$810 per ton ($38.00/cwt- $40.50/cwt) with an average of $785 per ton ($39.25/cwt) FOB mill, east of the Rockies. Both the lower and upper ends of our range remained the same compared to last week. Our average is unchanged compared to last week. SMU price momentum on cold rolled is the same as hot rolled, we expect some minor slippage over the next 30 days but production issues is allowing the mills to hold prices firmer longer than if all of the steelmaking capacity was online right now.

Cold Rolled Lead Times: 5-10 weeks.

Galvanized Coil: SMU Base Price Range is $770-$820 per ton ($38.50/cwt- $41.00/cwt) with an average of $795 per ton ($39.75/cwt) FOB mill, east of the Rockies. Both the lower and upper ends of our range remained the same compared to last week. Our average is unchanged compared to last week. SMU price momentum on galvanized actually is neutral this week. The domestic mills have been able to hold the bottom around $38.50-$39.00/cwt with most paying around $39.50-$40.00/cwt. We are a little concerned about a couple of mills who have shorter than normal lead times and we will need to watch galvanized carefully as we move closer to the month of July.

Galvanized .060” G90 Benchmark: SMU Range is $830-$880 per ton with an average of $855 per ton FOB mill, east of the Rockies.

Galvanized Lead Times: 5-11 weeks.

Galvalume Coil: SMU Base Price Range is $760-$820 per ton ($38.00/cwt- $41.00/cwt) with an average of $790 per ton ($39.50/cwt) FOB mill, east of the Rockies. The lower end of our range remained the same compared to last week while the upper end increased by $10 per ton. Our average is now $5 per ton higher compared to one week ago. SMU price momentum on Galvalume is for prices to remain at neutral for a week or two. The main issue with Galvalume are the number of foreign tons hitting the docks in both bare and prepainted form. These foreign tons are already pressuring prices in the South and it is these foreign tons which have assisted in getting the lower end of our range down to the $38.00/cwt base price level.

Galvalume .0142” AZ50, Grade 80 Benchmark: SMU Range is $1051-$1111 per ton with an average of $1081 per ton FOB mill, east of the Rockies.

Galvalume Lead Times: 4-10 weeks.

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