Steel Products Prices North America

Nucor Drops Pipe and Tube Prices $100 Per Ton

Written by Michael Cowden

Nucor has decreased steel pipe and tube prices by $100 per ton ($5 per hundredweight) effective immediately.

The Charlotte, N.C.-based steelmaker said the drop applied equally to all new orders of hollow structural sections (HSS), pipe, mechanical tubing, and piling products.

Nucor“This decrease is a result of normalized raw material costs and reduced transportation volatility,” the company said in letters to customers dated Monday, Nov. 22.

Nucor said it would monitor the marketplace and “respond accordingly” to future changes.

The company also stressed that demand remained strong across most end markets. “We continue to be optimistic about the outlook for 2022.”

The drop in pipe and tube roughly corresponds with declines in hot-rolled coil prices. Hot-rolled coil is the primary raw material for welded tubular products such as HSS, and so tubular prices typically follow HRC prices on a lag.

Hot-rolled coil prices were at $1,830 per ton when this article was filed, down $100 per ton from $1,930 per ton in early October, according to SMU’s interactive pricing tool.

SMU does not officially track HSS prices. But market participants said the decrease would drop Nucor’s HSS price from approximately $2,340 per ton ($117 per cwt) fob mill to $2,240 per ton.

Steel buyers were surprised by the move. Steelmakers are often quick to announce price increases. But they generally don’t announce price decreases, instead making them quietly on a customer-by-customer basis instead of on company letterhead.

Most buyers thought it was unlikely that other pipe and tube makers would follow Nucor in terms of publicly announcing a price decrease. Other tubers will probably reduce prices as well – albiet quietly, they said.

What was not clear when this article was filed was whether Nucor might be setting a new precedent not only for tube but for other products as well. The company also made a splash when it began publicly publishing base prices for steel plate.

By Michael Cowden,

Michael Cowden

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