US line pipe market holds steady, for now

Friday, 10 May 2019 18:17:35 (GMT+3)   |   San Diego

Sources close to SteelOrbis continue to report that while the “average” spot market price for US domestic API X-52 line pipe is still trending between $60-$63 cwt. ($1,323-$1,389/mt or $1,200-$1,260/nt), ex-mill, service centers who “are getting antsy about slow order activity and are in need of excess cash flow” have been “ready and eager” to negotiate.

“We’re all waiting to see where things bottom out and whether pricing out of the mills will start to drop, since HRC and scrap are both soft,” a source said.

Another Midwest source expressed his frustration, adding that unstable market conditions make it difficult to predict sales commissions.  

“It’s not just what’s going on in the market, it’s what’s going on in Washington D.C.,” he said.  “Imagine sitting down at a card table thinking you’re playing poker, only to find out that the game’s been changed to Gin Rummy halfway through the deal. And then, when you finally pick up your cards, you’ve been told that all of the 7s are going to be counted as wild-cards because a talking head on one of the cable news networks suggested that might be a good idea.”

Market players say they’re also curious as to “how things will shake out with Mexico and the Section 232 tariffs.” News outlets have reported that Senate Finance Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) and other Republicans have told Donald Trump that solidifying Senate approval of the USMCA trade agreement would hinge on whether the administration would agree to lift steel and aluminum import tariffs against Mexico and Canada.


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