U.S. Steel aims to increase base prices on spot orders of flat-rolled steel by at least $50 per ton ($2.50 per cwt.)
The move is effective immediately and applies to “all open quotations and/or negotiations where an agreement is yet to be concluded,” the Pittsburgh-based steelmaker said in a letter to it sales executives on Wednesday, June 14.
The increase applies not only to material from U.S. Steel but also to product from its USS-UPI subsidiary in California and its Big River Steel subsidiary in Arkansas.
U.S. Steel’s sheet price hike is the first since Cleveland-Cliffs announced one of $100 per ton – and a target price of $1,300 per ton for hot-rolled coil – on April 3.
U.S. Steel did not list a target price for coil in this increase.
SMU’s hot-rolled coil price stands at $930 per ton, down nearly 20% from a 2023 peak of $1,160 per ton mid-April and marking the lowest point for HRC prices since late February.
Initial reaction to the increase was mixed.
Some market participants questioned whether the move would reverse a trend of falling prices and shorter lead times that has been in place for most of the second quarter. They noted that U.S. Steel was primarily focused on contract-driven automotive business and might have comparatively little exposure or influence over the spot market. Another theory was that the increase might be timed to entice buyers who have been on the sidelines to jump back into the market to restock.
It was not immediately clear whether other mills would follow U.S. Steel’s attempted leading move.
SMU has updated its price-increase calendar to reflect U.S. Steel’s announcement. Please find it here.
By Michael Cowden, email@example.com
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