Steel Products Prices North America

Hyundai Makes Last Offer of '21 for Plate to Gulf Coast

Written by Michael Cowden

Hyundai Steel has made what is probably its last offer for imported plate for 2021 delivery to Gulf Coast ports, according to market participants. And there might be only one more offering to West Coast ports, sources said.

steel platePlate made by the South Korean steelmaker is being offered to Houston and New Orleans – the primary Gulf Coast destinations for foreign steel – at $1,510 per ton ($75.50 per cwt) delivered duty paid (DDP). Offers to Long Beach, Calif. – the primary West Coast port for imported steel – are at $1,550 per ton ($77.50 per cwt) DDP.

Shipment from South Korea is expected in September-October, which would place deliveries to U.S. ports solidly into the fourth quarter.

The offers expire at the end of business today.

Hyundai Steel did not immediately respond to a request for comment or confirmation on Friday, July 23.

Tonnage could be limited in part because of South Korea’s Section 232 quota.

South Korea agreed to a quota in exchange for exemption from the 25% Section 232 tariff applied to imports from most other countries.

Its 2021 annual quota for cut-to-length plate is 202,530 tonnes. That amount is divided up into quarterly limits of 60,759 tonnes, according to data from U.S. Customs and Border Patrol (CBP).

The result: fourth-quarter availability could be significantly lower if the quarterly quota limits were reached in prior quarters.

U.S. buyers had imported or were licensed to import 105,999 tonnes of cut-to-length plate from South Korea through July 19, the last date for which Commerce Department figures were available.

Any reduction in South Korean plate supplies is notable because the East Asian nation is the No. 2 supplier of foreign plate to the U.S. market behind only Canada. The United States’ northern neighbor has shipped or was licensed to ship 107,553 tonnes to domestic ports through July 19, per government data.

The move is also significant because domestic plate mills have been increasing prices at a rapid clip. Triple-digit price hikes have become common as U.S. plate mills try to catch up with hot-rolled coil prices.

SMU’s benchmark plate price stands at $1,575 per ton ($78.75/cwt). That’s up 80% from $875 per ton at the beginning of the year and more than double $605 per ton a year ago, according to SMU’s interactive price tool

Sheet prices have risen even faster. SMU’s hot-rolled coil price stands at $1,850 per ton ($92.50 per ton). That’s up 88% from $985 per ton at the beginning of the year and up fourfold from $460 per ton a year ago, according to SMU’s interactive price tool.

Plate prices are typically higher than coil prices, but that has not been the case for much of the last year.

By Michael Cowden,

Michael Cowden

Read more from Michael Cowden

Latest in Steel Products Prices North America