US STEEL PRICE ROUNDUP FROM MEPS INTERNATIONAL LTD
According to MEPS, US demand for hot
rolled coil is showing the usual seasonal slowdown, although underlying
consumption is firm. Delivery lead times remain at roughly four to five weeks.
Inventory is controlled, throughout the supply chain.
The plate market is expected to stay strong, at least through October. Direct
mill business for wind towers, bridges and railcars is booming. Distributors’
inventories are low. Mill delivery lead times are now over twelve weeks. Despite
announcements of a US$30 per short ton hike by a number of plate makers, market
transaction values have stabilised and buyers envisage little change for the
next quarter. High prices have attracted the attention of overseas suppliers.
More customers are becoming interested in purchasing foreign material.
Cold rolled coil transaction values peaked in June. Today’s figures are 2.3
percent lower than a month ago. Supply tightness has eased, although demand,
particularly from the auto sector, remains good. Import pressure persists.
The auto sector remains healthy and domestic appliance production is good. Sales
of galvanised steel to construction continue to revive. However, imports are
creating downward price pressure. Potential buyers are cautious because of the
threat of anti-dumping measures. Domestic prices have weakened slightly.
As anticipated, last month’s wire rod price hike was short-lived due to falling
scrap costs. Currently, many companies have sufficient stocks of Chinese and
Turkish material but pending anti-dumping legislation could prohibit further
purchasing of imports towards the end of the year. Demand from construction is
steady. Several local producers recently announced a US$15 per short ton
increase from August 1.
Wide flange beam prices are flat in the US. Soft scrap values have made no
impact. Offshore supplies are available. There are some small signs of recovery
in the non-residential building sector.
Rebar sales are relatively healthy and prices are unchanged from a month ago.
Domestic mills report firm order books.
Transaction figures for merchant bar are steady at the level reported in June.
The market is not strong enough to support a rise.
Steel Review - July Issue
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