Steel Products Prices North America

Will Mill Price Increases Make Foreign Steel More Attractive?

Written by John Packard

In the market analysis questionnaire concluded late last week we asked a number of questions regarding foreign steel and the potential for another uptick in foreign market penetration with the domestic mills raising flat rolled steel prices.

We asked if the mill price announcements were opening the door and making foreign steel prices more competitive? Sixty-four percent of those responding replied that it would make foreign more competitive with the balance (36 percent) did not believe it would make a difference.

“Clearly as CRC and galvanized prices up $80-90 ton (including latest increases) foreign becomes more interesting.” Service center

Another service center told SMU during their response that the domestic mills have no choice but to raise prices as, “…they are between a rock and a hard place.”

A third service center told us that the higher prices would make foreign more attractive, “…but I will say that foreign offers are also moving upward and the new Trade Laws from 2015 make it easier to file Trade Cases.”

A trading company wasn’t so sure that the higher domestic prices would make foreign more attractive. He told us, “The jury is still not out yet. It may for some mills [foreign mills] willing to absorb penalty. Still too early to tell.”

“Domestic mills have to watch their pricing or they will put themselves in the same situation i.e. losing business to foreign mills.” Service center

“If the lead times are fiction, the door will be open. The mills as usual will be their own worst enemy, shooting themselves in the foot again.” Manufacturing company

“As long as buyers do not feel the U.S. mills are able to maintain [actually collect price increases], imports should stay away.” Service center

A manufacturing company told us, “Foreign went up also – we will have to see.”

We had a number of questions regarding foreign steel and imports in last week’s flat rolled steel market analysis. They include responses from manufacturing companies, service centers and trading companies. The complete report on those responses can be found online in our Power Point presentation which is available to all Premium level members. If you have any questions or would like to know more about how you can become a Premium level subscriber please contact our office: or 800-432-3475.

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