Steel Products Prices North America

Comparison Price Indices: Treading Water

Written by John Packard

Flat rolled steel prices are relatively stable for yet another week according to the various steel indexes followed by Steel Market Update.  SMU took two items slightly lower: cold rolled ($815/ton) and Galvanized .060” G90 ($880/ton). SteelBenchmarker, who only reports prices twice per month, saw hot rolled down $4/ton ($624/ton) and cold rolled was off $9/ton to $815 per ton. Platts kept prices firm for about the 4th week in a row.

Plate prices remain stuck at, or about, the $640 per ton level.

In SMU opinion the market is looking for leadership – either up or down – and hasn’t received it yet. Low inventories at service centers are being offset by the lack of buying. Service centers don’t want to build inventories at the current price levels. With lead times backing off one to two weeks this means they are being forced to buy right now. The result is a stalemate with prices basically treading water.

The SMU Price Momentum Indicator continues to be Neutral, this means we don’t see anything in the market that will push prices in one direction or another over the next 30 days. This week the U.S. Department of Commerce is scheduled to provide Final Determination on hot rolled steel. We will see how they rule and evaluate the market from there.

FOB Points for each index:

SMU: Domestic Mill, East of the Rockies.
SteelBenchmarker: Domestic Mill, East of the Mississippi.
Platts: Northern Indiana Domestic Mill.

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