Tag: SDI

Price: How did 'Buy Clean' get switched to 'Buy Dirty'?

The Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) appropriated more than $4 billion to the General Services Administration (GSA) and Federal Highways Administration (FHWA) for “Buy Clean” programs. The statute makes clear that GSA and FHWA purchases under these programs are limited to those with “substantially lower” emissions. There is no ambiguity in that requirement. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has defined “substantially lower” to mean products with the lowest 20% of embodied emissions when compared to similar materials.

Final thoughts

Is it just me, or does it seem like the summer doldrums might have arrived a little early? I could be wrong there. It’s possible we could see a jump in prices should buyers need to step back into the market to restock. I’ll be curious to see what service center inventories are when we update those figures on May 15. In the meantime, just about everyone we survey thinks HR prices have peaked or soon will. (See slide 17 in the April 26 survey.) Lead times have flattened out. And some of you tell me that you’re starting to see signs of them pulling back. (We’ll know more when we update our lead time data on Thursday.)

SMU Community Chat: Hybar’s ambitious plans as newest player in rebar

Hybar has big plans for entering the American steel market. Although it is the newest player in the US rebar market, the startup is led by an experienced, nimble, and ambitious team, and backed by investors with deep pockets. Industry titan and Hybar CEO David Stickler joined SMU Managing Editor Michael Cowden on Wednesday’s Community Chat to update the SMU community on the company’s first mill, and its grand plans for the future.

Final thoughts

Flat-rolled steel prices have been running downhill in a hurry since the beginning of the year. In some ways, it's no surprise because other indicators have also been pointing lower for some time. Lead times have been contracting since the beginning of the year and are now below the five-week mark for hot-rolled (HR) coil for the first time since September. Mills are more willing to negotiate lower prices, and early reports seem to indicate that scrap might settle lower again in March.

Final thoughts

We’ve all heard a lot about mill “discipline” following a wave of consolidation over the last few years. That discipline is often evident when prices are rising, less so when they are falling. I remember hearing earlier this year that mills weren’t going to let hot-rolled (HR) coil prices fall below $1,000 per short ton (st). Then not below $900/st. Now, some of you tell me that HR prices in the mid/high-$800s are the “1-800 price” – widely available to regular spot buyers. So what comes next, and will mills “hold the line” in the $800s?