US HRC, CRC prices mostly stable; minor fluctuations continue

Friday, 15 October 2021 21:03:56 (GMT+3)   |   San Diego

Similar to last week, US domestic HRC and CRC prices have stayed mostly neutral, as prices continue to fluctuate slightly. Last week, US HRC prices were trending at $96-$98 cwt, ($2,116-$2,161/mt or $1,920-$1,960/nt) FOB mill. Today, that range has widened to $95-$98 cwt. ($2,094-$2,161/mt or $1,900-$1,920/nt), FOB mill.

A similar situation has been reported for US domestic CRC spot market prices, although the CRC price range widened on the top end. As such, last week’s average transaction range of $106-$109 cwt. ($2,337-$2,403/mt or $2,120-$2,180/nt) FOB mill, has revised to $106-$110 cwt. ($2,337-$2,425/mt or $2,120-$2,200/nt), FOB mill.

“I feel like the market is at an inflection point, and I think one of two things is going to happen,” a source said. “Either prices will hover where they are, moving up and down a little bit in either direction, for the duration of the year, or prices will start to come down.”

Others have offered similarly hazy predictions. “It seems like we’re starting to get our steel [from the mills] a bit faster than we had been, so that’s a good thing,” he said. “On the other hand, there’s still some backlog and it looks as if scrap might be going up next month, so my guess as to how this is going to play out is as good as anyone else’s.”

A third group of those polled, however, believe that the market has finally peaked, adding that the big question is how long it will take for prices to start sliding.

“I still wouldn’t be surprised if we saw prices slide below $90 cwt. ($1,984/mt or $1,800/nt), regardless as to what happen with scrap next month,” a final source added. “The spread between coil and scrap is significant enough that even if scrap prices rise, sheet prices could come down and the mills will still be making a boatload of money.”

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