With the exception of Galvalume, steel mill lead times were reported as being essentially unchanged from what was reported during the middle of July by those who responded to this week’s SMU flat rolled survey.
Hot rolled lead times continue to be one week shorter than what we measured one year ago and essentially unchanged from the middle of July. At 3.5 weeks we would consider hot rolled lead times to be slightly shorter than normal.
Cold rolled lead times were also unchanged from our last measurement in July. One year ago CRC (without a trade suit having been filed) saw lead times averaging 7 weeks. Now, with a trade suit having just been filed, we are closer to 5 and a half weeks. We have seen very little movement in CRC lead times going back to May 2015.
Galvanized lead times were also flat and have been going all the way back to the middle of May 2015. The 6 week average being reported this week is one week shorter than the 7 weeks reported one year ago.
Galvalume lead times were reported as being shorter this week than what we saw during the month of July as well as June. We are now back to the 6 week average we reported during the middle of May. Last year lead times were almost two weeks longer than what we just reported.
Lead times are suggesting that steel price momentum is muted at best. The lead times are better than what we reported during 1st Quarter 2015 and into early 2nd Quarter 2015.
To see an interactive history of our Steel Mill Lead Time data, visit our website here.
John PackardRead more from John Packard
Latest in SMU Data and Models
Sheet Lead Times Mixed, Plate Plummets
While lead times for sheet again had mixed movements this week, those for plate collapsed, according to SMU’s most recent market survey.
US Hot Band Now Even Cheaper Than Imported HRC
US hot-rolled coil (HRC) prices fell further relative to imported product this week. Domestic hot band remains cheaper than offshore HRC as US tags continue to sink at a sharper rate than those overseas.
Service Center Shipments and Inventories Report for August
Flat Rolled = 54.1 Shipping Days of Supply Plate = 61.2 Shipping Days of Supply Flat Rolled US service center flat-rolled steel inventories eased back in August with stronger shipments. At the end of August, service centers carried 54.1 shipping days of supply, according to adjusted SMU data, down from 56.1 shipping days of supply […]
SMU Steel Demand Index Inches Up
Steel Market Update’s Steel Demand Index remains in contraction territory despite marginal improvement, according to our latest survey data.
HRC vs. Galv Price Spread Widened This Summer
The spread between hot-rolled coil (HRC) and galvanized sheet base prices widened throughout the summer as hot rolled prices declined faster than those of galvanized.