SMU Data and Models

Steel Mill Lead Times: Flat for Past 4 Months

Written by Tim Triplett

Flat rolled steel lead times have been relatively flat going back to early May 2017, according to the service centers and manufacturing companies who participated in the Steel Market Update (SMU) flat rolled market trends survey this week. Lead time, which is the amount of time it takes for the domestic steel mills to produce a new order from the time the order was placed, have been averaging close to four weeks for hot rolled, six weeks for cold rolled, six and a half weeks for galvanized, and Galvalume has been averaging six weeks.

Hot rolled lead times were reported to be averaging just under four weeks (3.83 weeks); one month ago HRC lead times averaged 4.25 weeks and one year ago they averaged just over 3 weeks (3.11 weeks).

Cold rolled lead times hung around six weeks (6.13 weeks), which is unchanged from one month ago, but like HRC is slightly better than the 5.38 weeks reported at this time one year ago.

Galvanized lead times are averaging six and a half weeks (6.45 weeks) again, unchanged from one month ago and slightly better than the 5.84 weeks reported one year ago.

Galvalume lead times shrunk to just under six weeks (5.90 weeks); one month ago we saw lead times averaging 6.64 weeks. One year ago AZ lead times were reported as averaging 6.33 weeks.

Note: These lead times are based on the average from manufacturers and steel service centers who participated in this week’s SMU market trends analysis. Our lead times do not predict what any individual may get from any specific mill supplier. Look to your mill rep for actual lead times. Our lead times are meant only to identify trends and changes in the marketplace. To see an interactive history of our Steel Mill Lead Times data, visit our website here.

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