Tag: sheet prices

Final thoughts

SMU’s price for hot-rolled (HR) inched lower this week. I wouldn’t be surprised, however, if we start to see prices and lead times move higher in the weeks ahead. The modest declines in HR this week are probably the result of lingering deals cut at “old” prices, as sometimes happens after mill price increases. But those deals will probably be out of the market soon if they aren’t already. So why do I float the idea of higher prices? Some big buys have been placed. It reminds me a little of what we saw last fall, when people restocked in anticipation of higher prices once the UAW strike was resolved.

CRU: Low demand continues to weigh on global sheet prices

A weak start for sheet demand this year has continued to weigh on global prices. European demand outside of the renewable energy sector was weak enough that market participants said mills are likely to cut output further after several furnace restarts earlier in the year. In China, demand has also failed to pick up after recent holidays, and even government announcements of more stimulus measures during the country’s “Two Sessions” meetings failed to boost market confidence.

Final thoughts

I’ve had discussions with some of you lately about where and when sheet prices might bottom. Some of you say that hot-rolled (HR) coil prices won’t fall below $800 per short ton (st). Others tell me that bigger buyers aren’t interested unless they can get something that starts with a six. Obviously a lot depends on whether we're talking 50 tons or 50,000 tons. I've even gotten some guff about how the drop in US prices is happening only because we’re talking about it happening.