SMU Data and Models

SMU Price Momentum Indicator Moved to Neutral

Written by John Packard

This morning, Steel Market Update (SMU) adjusted our Price Momentum Indicator from Lower to Neutral. This move is being made as we are seeing more evidence of the domestic steel mills taking a stand and either raising spot prices (especially on coated steels) or are refusing to go any lower.

As one steel buyer put it to SMU this morning, “The domestic mills are beginning to close their purse strings.”

There is a rising expectation, especially within those buyers of galvanized and Galvalume products that a price increase announcement may be made in the coming days. One large galvanized service center told us this morning they were expecting a $30 increase to be announced sometime next week.

We heard from a domestic steel mill this morning who told us, “We have had an excellent booking week. I feel that the next two weeks has multiple potential inflection points that could move the needle and some of our customers are clearly preparing for them and restocking ahead. We have two prelim dumping decisions, the enrollment deadlines for healthcare at mills, the AK Ashland decision, and settled/slightly firming scrap.”

This mill source went on to say, “I am not saying price is up for sure – just saying that the very least we have savvy customers placing orders now ahead of potential moves.”

We will have more on our move to Neutral in Sunday evening’s edition of Steel Market Update newsletter.

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