Steel Products Prices North America

Nucor Kicks Off Second Sheet Increase in Less Than 30 Days

Written by Tim Triplett

On Wednesday morning, Nucor announced a $40 per ton ($2.00/cwt) “minimum” price increase on flat rolled steel products. The mill advised their customers the increase was to be “effective immediately.” This is the second price increase announcement out of Nucor in less than 30 days. On Jan. 28, 2019, Nucor announced a $40 per ton ($2.00/cwt) increase as they attempted to stop the slide in spot prices.

The previous announcement did manage to put a cyclical bottom to the spot market prices after benchmark hot rolled had dropped into the low $600s per ton.

Following the Nucor lead with $40 per ton  flat rolled price increases of their own were California Steel Industries, NLMK USA, U.S. Steel and USS-POSCO Industries.

ArcelorMittal took a different tack, announcing minimum prices for its flat rolled products. “Over the past couple of weeks, we have experienced a significant increase in order entry for sheet products,” the mill said in a letter to customers, setting a minimum price for new orders of hot rolled sheet from ArcelorMittal USA and AM/NS Calvert at $730 per ton ($36.50/cwt), while cold rolled and hot-dipped galvanized minimums are now $860 per ton ($43.00/cwt). ArcelorMittal’s last price change was a $40 per ton increase on Oct. 11, 2018.

Current spot prices for hot rolled reported by Steel Market Update on Tuesday averaged $680 per ton ($34.00/cwt), unchanged from one week ago. Mill offers are reported to be concentrated in the $680-$700 per ton range with some exceptions as low as $660 per ton.

This morning (Thursday), after consulting with steel buyers and steel mills throughout the week, Steel Market Update adjusted our Price Momentum Indicator to Higher. It is our opinion that flat rolled steel prices will move higher over the next 30 days.

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