SMU Data and Models

Steel Mill Lead Times: HR Average Under Five Weeks

Written by Tim Triplett

Lead times for steel delivery are a measure of demand at the mill level—the longer the lead time the busier the mill. Lead times on hot rolled and cold rolled steel products have remained flat over the past couple of weeks, while coated products saw some shortening of delivery times, according to Steel Market Update’s latest market trends data. Lead times for hot rolled now average less than five weeks, cold rolled less than seven weeks, and galvanized and Galvalume right around seven weeks. Mill lead times are gradually moving back toward more typical delivery times.

Hot rolled lead times now average 4.62 weeks, about the same as in early August. Current lead times for hot rolled are down from 5.18 weeks a month ago, and down from the April peak of 5.73 weeks. This time last year, hot rolled lead times averaged 4.20 weeks.

Cold rolled lead times, at 6.52 weeks, have seen little change since early August, but are down from 7.30 weeks a month ago. Last year at this time, CR lead times averaged 6.15 weeks.

The current lead time for galvanized steel is 7.05 weeks, down slightly from 7.29 weeks earlier in the month. Galvanized lead times are only a bit extended compared with a year ago when lead times on spot orders averaged 6.50 weeks.

At 7.00 weeks, Galvalume lead times are down from 7.89 weeks in mid-July.

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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