Final Thoughts

Final Thoughts

Written by John Packard

The number of flat rolled and plate spot transactions has dwindled over the past couple of weeks. End users are squeamish about ordering any steel other than what is needed for the work on the floor. Steel buyers are reporting a weakening of the top end of the range but firming at the lower ends. Plate prices continue to be solid due to controlled order entry (tight order books).

One of the service centers with whom I spoke earlier today told me that a month ago prices were slipping, then there was a week when things dropped a little more than expected. Over the past two weeks, things have firmed and the slipping seems to have subsided.

We were also told today that the rumor mill has Nucor leading with a price increase on flat rolled, especially if scrap prices rise this month (which they are supposed to do based on our research).

Our service center spot pricing results indicate we are not quite yet at capitulation, but we are getting close. As I stated in an earlier article, whether this means an increase is coming is not yet known. You would think the mills would be happy with HRC prices averaging $850 per ton…

I am in Pittsburgh today (Tuesday) and tomorrow and will return to my office on Thursday.

As always, your business is truly appreciated by all of us here at Steel Market Update.

John Packard, President & CEO

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