Steel Products Prices North America

Nucor Drops Plate Prices $80-120/ton With Opening of Sept Books

Written by Michael Cowden

Nucor is significantly lowering plate prices with the opening of its September plate order book.

Discrete plate prices as well as prices for normalized plate will be $120 per ton ($6 per cwt) lower. Prices for cut-to-length plate 84-inches wide will be $80 per ton ($4 per cwt) lower.

All published adders and extras will be applied, the Charlotte, N.C.-based steelmaker said in a letter to customers on Thursday, July 28.

Nucor earlier this month kept prices flat with the opening of its August orderbook. The company in June lowered prices by similar amounts with the opening of its July book.

Plate prices have been broadly stable this year. They started the year at $1,795 per ton, reached $1,920 per ton following the outbreak of war in Ukraine, and have since dipped to $1,810 per ton, according to SMU pricing archives.

Hot-rolled coil prices, in contrast, started the year at $1,600 per ton. They are now at $840 per ton, a nearly 48% decline from Jan. 1. Coil prices have given up all gains from a sharp price rally in the early days of the war. 

The result: Plate prices are now more than double those for hot band. A spread of that magnitude – plate now carries $970-per-ton premium over HRC – has no recent precedent as evidenced by the charts below.

Here is the plate-HRC spread since late 2020, when prices snapped back after the initial shock of the pandemic:

  plate v hrc July 28 2022 snip

And here is the spread going back to 2017, which includes the shock initiation of Section 232 tariffs and quotas in 2018:

  plate vs hrc July 28 2022 since 2017 snip

You can recreate these charts on your own if you are an SMU member by using our interactive pricing tool. If you would like to become a member our would or would like to learn more about our charting tools, please contact

By Michael Cowden,

Michael Cowden

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