SMU Data and Models

SMU Market Trends: Steel Mill Negotiations Loosen a Bit

Written by Tim Triplett

Steel mills appear slightly more willing to negotiate spot prices on hot rolled, cold rolled and coated steel than two weeks ago, according to respondents to this week’s Steel Market Update market trends questionnaire. Every two weeks, in a proprietary poll, SMU tracks how buyers and sellers of flat rolled steel represent the mill negotiation position. The latest data suggests some mills are a bit more willing to talk price, perhaps reflecting some seasonal slowdown in demand.

By market segment, 19 percent of hot rolled buyers said they have found mills willing to negotiate, up from 14 percent two weeks ago. Most, 81 percent, said the hot rolled mills are still standing firm.

In the cold rolled segment, 47 percent said they have found some mills willing to talk price, up from 33 percent in early June. Fifty-three percent of respondents reported mill prices on cold rolled as non-negotiable.

In the galvanized sector, it’s a 50-50 proposition whether the mills will talk price on coated products. The majority of Galvalume buyers (57 percent) said mills are now open to price discussions.

Note: SMU surveys active steel buyers twice each month to gauge the willingness of their steel suppliers to negotiate pricing. The results reflect current steel demand and changing spot pricing trends. SMU provides our members with a number of ways to interact with current and historical data. To see an interactive history of our Steel Mill Negotiations data, visit our website here.

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