SMU Data and Models

SMU survey: Buyers finds mills more willing to talk price, except on HRC

Written by Ethan Bernard

Steel buyers found mills more willing to negotiate spot pricing on the products SMU tracks except hot rolled coil (HRC), according to our most recent survey data.

Every two weeks, SMU asks steel buyers whether domestic mills are willing to negotiate lower spot pricing on new orders.

This week, 84% of participants surveyed by SMU reported mills were willing to negotiate prices on new spot orders, up from 77% at the last market check (Figure 1). This is the highest level it’s been since the end of September.

Figure 2 below shows negotiation rates by product. The rate for HRC fell to 80%, down 16 percentage points from 96% two weeks earlier. However, cold rolled increased four percentage points to 76%, galvanized rose 11 percentage points to 86%, Galvalume was up 25 percentage points to 100%, and plate increased 12 percentage points to 79%.

Here’s what some survey respondents had to say:

“Still able to negotiate to get some ‘pre-increase’ purchases made (on hot rolled).”

“Things changed rapidly (on hot rolled).”

“Very limited availability (on cold rolled).”

“Some books are full (on galvanized).”

“(Willing to negotiate on plate) if attractive.”

Note: SMU surveys active steel buyers every other week to gauge their steel suppliers’ willingness to negotiate pricing. The results reflect current steel demand and changing spot pricing trends. SMU provides our members with a number of ways to interact with current and historical data. To see an interactive history of our steel mill negotiations data, visit our website.

Ethan Bernard

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