US HRC prices continue to tumble

Friday, 14 June 2019 23:13:56 (GMT+3)   |   San Diego

Concerns that this month’s soft scrap prices would spill into the domestic hot rolled coil (HRC) markets were apparently warranted. Last week, SteelOrbis reported that US HRC prices were still in an official range of $30.00-$32.00 cwt. ($661-$705/mt or $600-$640/nt), ex-mill, with deals up to $1.00 cwt. ($22/mt or $20/nt) below that range being available to volume buyers.  This week, spot market prices have corrected downward, to the range of $27.00-$28.00 cwt. ($595-$617/mt or $540-$560/nt), ex-mill.

Questions remain as to whether the current prices will spur a flurry of restocking activity at the service-center level. Sources agree that should this happen, the rush of orders would surely push out lead times and would, in theory, help drive prices upward “in the short term, at least.”

Other sources think prices may correct further. “I’m not sure if this is the bottom, but I’m not sure how much lower it could get. The softness has capitulated throughout the market, across products,” the source said. “I hope $27.00 cwt. ($595/mt or $540/nt) is it. Demand is off, so something needs to happen on the supply side otherwise this isn’t going to get better.”

Two weeks ago, SteelOrbis reported that market sources suspected that that $26 cwt. ($573/mt or $520/nt) hot rolled was on the horizon. This week, that suspicion remains.


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