Steel Mills

Nucor slashes plate prices by $90/st

Written by David Schollaert

Nucor Corp. announced that its plate mill group would cut prices for as-rolled, discrete, and normalized plate with the opening of its April order book.

The Charlotte, N.C.-based steelmaker said in a letter to customers on Wednesday, Feb. 28, that tags would be lowered by $90 per short ton (st), bringing its base price to roughly $1,290/st.

Nucor said quenched-and-tempered products would “remain unchanged.”

The decrease was effective for new orders received on Thursday, Feb. 29, the company said.

“We reserve the right to review and re-quote any offers that are not confirmed with either a Nucor sales acknowledgment or written acceptance by both parties,” the letter said.

It’s Nucor’s second plate price decrease of 2024, and follows last month’s price cut of $50/st announced on Jan. 30.

The move, while expected by many in the market, had mixed reviews Wednesday night after market close. Some question the steelmaker’s approach, while others propose it will only establish a base from which to further discount.

“We, nor anyone else, will buy a ton more,” said a source. “It kills the market. Crickets for the foreseeable future.”

“Predicted $100/t or more, so close,” said another source. “But no one I know will pay this price, more like, ‘Here’s our published price, but let us know what you would like to buy, and let’s talk… .’”

“Yes, a little more than I anticipated, but a barometer of the current plate market,” said a third source. “I expect the Korean mills to be around $54/cwt to $55/cwt on their next offer.” 

“Competitive delivered resale prices for base gauge A36 around $67/cwt in the South to $69/cwt in the Northeast,” added another source. “So someone tell me how this latest announcement is relevant?”

To keep track of the latest mill price increases and decreases, visit SMU’s price increase calendar.

David Schollaert

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