International Steel Prices

Steel Buyers Say Mills More Willing To Negotiate Prices

The percentage of steel buyers polled finding that mills are willing to negotiate prices rebounded above 50% this week vs. two weeks ago, according to SMU data. 

Of the products surveyed, plate notched the only decrease in mills willing to talk price, falling to 30% compared with 63% at the last market check.

Every two weeks, SMU asks hundreds of steel buyers: Are you finding domestic mills willing to negotiate spot pricing on new orders? This week 51% of steel buyers polled on average reported mills were willing to negotiate new orders, up from an average rate of 44% two weeks ago. The rate had been declining since the end of November, so it’s too early to say if this rebound indicates a trend. 

Negotiations Fig1

Figure 2 below shows negotiation rates by various products. With the exception of plate, all products were either up or neutral. This week, hot-rolled rose 20 percentage points to 58% reporting mills willing to negotiate prices on new orders compared with two weeks ago; cold rolled was up 7 percentage points to 47%; and galvanized was up 11 percentage points to 59%;  

Galvalume remained unchaged at 33% of steel buyers saying mills were willing to negotiate. 

Negotiations Fig2

Note: SMU surveys active steel buyers every other week 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.

By Ethan Bernard,

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