Rising scrap costs push hot band prices higher worldwide (UPDATE)

Dec 16, 2009 | 08:11 AM | Scott Robertson

Rising input costs, principally for scrap, are pushing hot-rolled band and other steel prices higher.

Hot band prices have increased 4 percent in the United States and 3.4 percent in the world export market in the past three weeks, SteelBenchmarker said in a Dec. 14 report released Wednesday, while prices in Western Europe and mainland China inched up around 1 percent.

The increases were based largely on sharp gains in scrap prices. The U.S. price for shredded scrap rose to $281 per tonne delivered, up 20.6 percent from $233 in the previous SteelBenchmarker report dated Nov. 23. No. 1 heavy melting scrap increased 14.2 percent to $249 per tonne from $218 in the same comparison, and No. 1 busheling rose 19.5 percent to $313 per tonne from $262.

"Scrap is going way up and the steel prices are going with it," one Midwestern service center source said. "There has been no improvement in demand (in the United States). Inventories are low, but no one is buying much right now (given typical fourth-quarter seasonal slowdowns). It's all going up on scrap."....

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