Steel Prices

SMU price ranges: Sheet gains continue, plate falls to 2.5-year low

Written by David Schollaert & Michael Cowden


Sheet prices continued to move higher this week on the heels of mill price hikes and extending lead times.

The gains came despite some sources saying that they’ve been more reluctant to make hot-rolled coil buys with tags high and lead times well into 2024.

SMU’s hot-rolled coil price now stands at $950 per ton ($47.50 per cwt) on average, up $15 per ton from a week ago and up $305 per ton, or 47%, from a 2023 low of $645 per ton recorded in late September.

Nucor announced on Monday it would seek at least $1,100 per ton for hot-rolled coil. If achieved, that would represent a 71% gain over September’s low. It’s too early to say whether that figure will stick. And some market participants said they were running into buyer resistance at $1,000 per ton.

There appeared to be less resistance to higher prices for cold-rolled (CR) and coated products. SMU’s base price for CR is now $1,175 per ton (up $25/ton week over week). Galv base is also at $1,175 per ton, up $10/ton week over week (WoW). Galvalume is at $1,200 per ton (up $50/ton WoW).

Plate prices, meanwhile, continued to slide lower. SMU’s plate price is $1,350 per ton on average, down $15 per ton from last week. That figure also marks the lowest point for plate prices since mid-May 2021 – or about 2.5 years ago, according to our pricing tool.

Will SSAB America’s price increase reverse that downward momentum?

SMU’s sheet price momentum indicators continue to point higher. We have switched our plate price momentum indicator from lower to neutral until the impact of SSAB’s move is clear.

Hot-Rolled Coil

The SMU price range is $900–1,000 per net ton ($45.00–50.00 per cwt), with an average of $950 per ton ($47.50 per cwt) FOB mill, east of the Rockies. The bottom end of our range increased $30 per ton vs. one week ago, while the top end of the range was unchanged compared to the prior week. Our overall average is up $15 per ton week over week (WoW). Our price momentum indicator for HRC continues to point higher, meaning SMU expects prices will increase over the next 30 days.

Hot Rolled Lead Times: 6–8 weeks

Cold-Rolled Coil

The SMU price range is $1,150–1,200 per net ton ($57.50–60.00 per cwt), with an average of $1,175 per ton ($58.75 per cwt) FOB mill, east of the Rockies. The lower end of our range was up $50 per ton vs. the prior week, while the top end of our range was unchanged WoW. Thus, our overall average is up $25 per ton vs. the week prior. Our price momentum indicator for CRC continues to point higher, meaning SMU expects prices will increase over the next 30 days.

Cold Rolled Lead Times: 6–12 weeks

Galvanized Coil

The SMU price range is $1,150–1,200 per net ton ($57.50–60.00 per cwt), with an average of $1,175 per ton ($58.75 per cwt) FOB mill, east of the Rockies. The lower end of our range was up $30 per ton vs. last week, while the top end of our range was down $10 per ton WoW. Our overall average is up $10 per ton vs. the prior week. Our price momentum indicator on galvanized steel continues to point higher, meaning SMU expects prices will increase over the next 30 days.

Galvanized .060” G90 Benchmark: SMU price range is $1,247–1,297 per ton with an average of $1,272 per ton FOB mill, east of the Rockies.

Galvanized Lead Times: 6-11 weeks

Galvalume Coil

The SMU price range is $1,150–1,250 per net ton ($57.50–62.50 per cwt), with an average of $1,200 per ton ($60.00 per cwt) FOB mill, east of the Rockies. The lower end and the top end of our range were up $50 per ton WoW. Thus, our overall average is also up $50 per ton vs. the week prior. Our price momentum indicator on Galvalume steel continues to point higher, meaning SMU expects prices will increase over the next 30 days.

Galvalume .0142” AZ50, Grade 80 Benchmark: SMU price range is $1,444–1,544 per ton with an average of $1,494 per ton FOB mill, east of the Rockies.

Galvalume Lead Times: 6-15 weeks

Plate

The SMU price range is $1,310–1,390 per net ton ($65.50–69.50 per cwt), with an average of $1,350 per ton ($67.50 per cwt) FOB mill. The lower end of our range was down $20 per ton WoW, while the top end of our range was $10 per ton lower compared to the week prior. Our overall average is down $15 per ton vs. one week ago. Our price momentum indicator on steel plate shifted from neutral to lower, meaning SMU expects prices will decrease over the next 30 days.

Plate Lead Times: 4-7 weeks

SMU Note: Above is a graphic showing our hot rolled, cold rolled, galvanized, Galvalume, and plate price history. This data is available here on our website with our interactive pricing tool. If you need help navigating the website or need to know your login information, contact us at info@steelmarketupdate.com.

David Schollaert

Read more from David Schollaert

Michael Cowden

Read more from Michael Cowden

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