The U.S. flat rolled steel mills are attempting to stem the slide of steel prices in North America. Spot prices on hot rolled, cold rolled, galvanized and Galvalume have declined by more than $100 per ton over the past few weeks and four mills have stepped up and are trying to stop the slide.
A few thoughts regarding the events of the past two weeks:
Severstal was the first domestic mill to actively recognize the need to stabilize flat rolled steel prices. In a letter to their customers, they came out with base price levels which, according to the many buyers I speak with on a consistent basis, were a tad too high when compared to the offers being made in the spot market by Severstal competition (and perhaps even Severstal itself). Their new $42.00/cwt base price on hot rolled – if collected – would result in increases of $100 per ton for those at the lower end of the pricing spectrum. It is very rare to get increases of this magnitude – even in a good market – never mind one which has been in decline.