Steel Products

U.S. Steel Up Another $100/ton on Sheet

Written by Michael Cowden

U.S. Steel on Thursday announced that it would increase spot prices for steel sheet by another $100 per ton.

The Pittsburgh-based steelmaker said the price hike was effective immediately and applied to material from its Big River Steel EAF sheet mill in Osceola, Ark., as well.

The move comes just a week after U.S. Steel on Oct. 19 announced an initial price hike of $100 per ton.

The steel market has not seen such large weekly prices increases since mid/late February, according to SMU’s price increase calendar. That’s when domestic mills aimed to increase HRC prices from $800 per ton to $1,000 per ton within a matter of three weeks.

U.S. Steel did not announce a new target price for hot-rolled coil. But other mills last week said that they were seeking at least $800 per ton. That implies that U.S. Steel might now be seeking a minimum price of at least $900 per ton for HRC.

Domestic mills have also been trying to maintain a $200-per-ton spread between HRC and cold-rolled and coated products. That suggests the company could be seeking a minimum base price of $1,000 per ton for tandem products.

Market participants have said for weeks that domestic mills would roll out big price hikes at the first sign of a deal between the United Auto Workers (UAW) union and the Detroit-area “Big Three” automakers.

Dearborn, Mich.-based Ford and the UAW late on Wednesday announced that they had reached a tentative agreement.

Sheet prices have been moving up since Cleveland-Cliffs announced an initial round of price hikes, and a target price of $750 per ton for HRC, on Sept. 27.

Case in point: SMU’s average hot-rolled coil price stands at $770 per ton, up 19% ($125 per ton) from $645 per ton a month ago. We will update prices again on Tuesday.

Michael Cowden

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