SMU Data and Models

Steel Mill Negotiations: Most Willing to Talk Price

Written by Tim Triplett

When it comes to haggling over steel prices with the mills, buyers retain a strong bargaining position. Steel Market Update tracks how buyers and sellers of flat rolled steel represent the mill negotiation position. More than eight out of 10 buyers report that mills are willing to negotiate spot prices on new orders placed this week for hot rolled, cold rolled steel and coated products.

According to respondents to this week’s Steel Market Update market trends questionnaire, 88 percent of hot rolled buyers said they have found mills willing to talk price, about the same as a month ago but double the 43 percent in mid-July.

In the cold rolled segment, 83 percent said they have found mills open to price negotiation, down from 96 percent two weeks ago, but still a very high percentage. Only 17 percent of respondents reported current mill prices on cold rolled as firm.

In the galvanized sector, 82 percent said the mills were open to price discussions, up from 78 percent two weeks ago.

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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