NEGOTIATOR’S TAKE: Steel prices at mills may have bottomed out so now might be a good time to lock in pricing for products and components.
1.14.16 – Upward momentum on the back of more price hikes
Hot-rolled and cold-rolled coil prices in the US maintained their upward momentum Thursday on the back of mill announcements earlier in the week as spot availability was tighter and new quotes firmed.
Platts increased its daily HRC and CRC assessments to $400-$410/st and $520-$540/st from $390-$400/st and $520-$530/st, respectively. New mill quotes have been heard higher but transactions at those levels could not be verified. Both prices are normalized to a Midwest (Indiana) ex-works basis.
New HRC quotes firm
So far, four of the domestic US mills have announced $20-$30/st for flat-rolled pricing, while others were heard to have pushed prices higher internally. Multiple buy-side sources indicated new HRC quotes were firm across the board at $400/st and above.
A service center source said he had not heard of any mills “cutting deals” and HRC “while undoubtedly the least strong [product] isn’t really weak either.” On the demand side, he said inventories seem to be leaning out quickly and their “trading division is busier than they have been in almost a year.”
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