Steel Products

Mill Negotiation Rate Up on Sheet, Plate Products

Written by Ethan Bernard

The percentage of respondents saying mills were willing to negotiate price rose on all sheet products and plate this week, according to SMU’s most recent survey data. 

Ninety-one percent of those surveyed said mills were willing to talk price on hot-rolled, up seven percentage points, while plate increased 12 percentage points to 41% in the same comparison.

Every two weeks, SMU asks steel buyers whether domestic mills are willing to negotiate lower spot pricing on new orders. This week, 78% of steel buyers (Figure 1) in our survey reported mills were willing to negotiate price on new orders, up from 67% two weeks earlier. The previous market check was the last time the rate dipped below 70% since the end of April. 

Figure 2 below shows negotiation rates by product. All showed upward movement, with cold rolled rising seven percentage points to 83% of buyers reporting mills more willing to negotiate price vs. two weeks earlier. For galvanized, the rate was 94% (+4) and Galvalume stood at 84% vs. 59% at the previous market check. Recall that Galvalume can be more volatile because we have fewer survey participants there. 

Here is what some of our survey participants are saying:

-“We aren’t buying anything from mills right now, as service centers are very cheap for truckload quantities. That being said, in talking with some mill reps, they certainly seem very open to negotiating.”

-“Lead times are varying for mills from 4-8 weeks for galvanized, and I have found that there is floor stock available for the galvanized coils we purchase, which has not been the case for quite a while.”

-“Willing to discount for larger volume of hot rolled.”

– “Seeing a stronger offer out of the US than in Canada on galvanized, which took us by surprise.”

Ethan Bernard

Read more from Ethan Bernard

Latest in Steel Products