Has this week’s US CRC price increase gained traction?

Thursday, 21 February 2019 00:05:03 (GMT+3)   |   San Diego

In the past 48 hours, Nucor, AMUSA and US Steel have announced they would be raising prices on all flat rolled steel products, including US CRC, by a minimum of $2.00 cwt. ($44/mt or $40/nt), effective with all new orders.

This is the second price increase attempt by flats mills this year; the initial announcement did not gain full acceptance, but it did firm prices on the low end of the range, and it served to end “low-ball deals” that had been available to volume buyers.

Whether the current increase will gain full acceptance has yet to be known. Sources close to SteelOrbis have reported that the current spot market range for US CRC remains at $40-$41 ($882-$904/mt or $800-$820/nt), ex-mill, although a handful of sources have indicated that some buyers are paying $0.50 cwt. ($11/mt or $10/nt) higher. Sources have also indicated that these higher-priced transactions are currently seen as outlier deals and are not representative of the market as a whole.

Sources say they suspect US prices may begin to climb; this trend would reportedly be attributed less to happenings in the domestic market, and more about price momentum in the global markets. SteelOrbis’ prior prediction was that US flat rolled steel prices would firm slightly before the end of Q1, with increases of up to $2.00 cwt. ($44/mt or $40/nt) above end-Q1 levels taking place in Q2.


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