US HRC prices steady after mill price increase announcement

Friday, 01 February 2019 23:01:45 (GMT+3)   |   San Diego

After weeks of drifting downward, US domestic hot rolled coil (HRC) prices have finally steadied.  The sideways price trend, sources say, may be linked to this week’s price increase announcement. As SteelOrbis previously reported, flats mills throughout the country announced a $2.00 cwt. ($44/mt $40/nt) “effective immediately” increase for HRC, CRC and HDG coil. Whether the increase will have any sticking power has yet to be determined.

One source said he doubts that prices are about to move upward, noting that “key market fundamentals aren’t there. Lead times are short, and scrap was down in January, so unless something changes and scrap shoots up in February, it’s going to be a tough sell,” he said.

Another laughed the increase off, adding “the mills are trying to dam a river with their foot.”

Current prices remain in the range of $34-$35 cwt. ($750-$772/mt or $680-$700/nt), ex-mill, although volume buyers are reportedly able to score deals up to $1.00 cwt. ($22/mt or $20/nt) lower, as mills are still “hungry for orders,” sources say.

Current prices are still somewhat soft compared to levels seen during the same reporting period last year, when prices were trending at $35.50-$37.50 cwt. ($783-$827/mt or $710-$750/nt), ex-mill.

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