Over the course of a few weeks, buyers and sellers of flat rolled steels changed their view of the direction of flat rolled steel price direction. In the middle of February only 14 percent of those responding to our flat rolled steel market trends analysis survey reported prices would move higher with the majority (52 percent) believing steel prices would remain where they were and about one third (34 percent) believing prices would move lower. We got a strong push on scrap prices which prompted the domestic mills to push prices higher. The price announcements should not have come as a surprise as mills like Nucor were advising their customers of another round of increases should scrap move more than $30-$40 per gross ton. Prime grades ended up moving higher by about $65 per gross ton (+/- depending on regional market factors).
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