US strip mill product transaction values are relatively stable with just some minor upward movement. This follows several months of escalation, much of which was driven by the mills’ climbing raw material costs. Recently, however, producers have made no more formal announcements regarding further increases, at least for the immediate future. Inventories at service centres and end-users remain on the low side because buyers are cautious about ordering too much material at what is likely to be the top of the market.
Transaction hikes proposed for May shipments are being implemented by Canadian steelmakers as demand is high and input costs continue to grow. Order intake at the mills remains good but a number of buyers are now purchasing more carefully in anticipation of stable or weakening prices in the next few months.
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