Steel Products Prices North America

Nucor Begins New Round of Flat Rolled Price Increases

Written by John Packard

Nucor became the first domestic steel mill to announce a second round of flat rolled steel price increases. The Nucor announcement, which was for a $20 per ton price increase, affected hot rolled, cold rolled and galvanized products produced by their mills.

This is the second price increase on flat rolled products since the end of April. On April 28th Nucor announced specific base price levels (increase) to their customers. The base prices referenced were  $460 per ton ($23.00/cwt) base on hot rolled, $580 per ton ($29.00/cwt) base on cold rolled and coated. One mill, NLMK USA, announced specific base prices rather than a general plus $20 in early May. Their base prices were $20 per ton higher than what Nucor was telling their customers.

The latest Nucor announcement, which came in the form of a letter emailed to their customers late on the afternoon of June 10th, stated that the increase announcement was for a “minimum” of $20 per ton. This would put their base price levels at a “minimum” of: $480 per ton on hot rolled ($24.00/cwt) and $600 per ton ($30.00/cwt) base on cold rolled and galvanized products.

They explained the reasoning behind the announcement with the following comment, “Although this increase is necessary in part to address cost pressures, we will continue to closely monitor import levels and will react accordingly.” This is an interesting statement in light of the anti-dumping suit announced on coated steels last week.

Nucor and the other domestic steel mills are trying to be responsive to their need to collect more money for their products while at the same time not opening the door too wide for foreign competition.

Earlier this week we were hearing of Nucor offers out there at $29.50/cwt which was $10 per ton higher than their last announcement. At this moment we are not aware if those offers have been pulled by the mill. Although their announcement letter clearly states that they reserve the right to review and requote any offers where they have not received an order and where they have not acknowledged the purchase.

ArcelorMittal Makes Announcement:

ArcelorMittal followed the Nucor lead and announced a $20 per ton price increase in the form of a “leaked” confidential internal document to the AM sales staff.

SMU expectation is that the other steel mills in the U.S. and Canada will follow the Nucor lead with perhaps some minor modifications.

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