Nucor sees signs pointing up, holds line on rebar prices

Dec 16, 2008 | 10:45 AM | Scott Robertson

Nucor Corp.'s move to effectively hold the line on prices for reinforcing bar and merchant bar products for January signals that it believes prices for those products have hit bottom even as market sources say demand has yet to rebound significantly.

Charlotte, N.C.-based Nucor explained in a letter to customers that it is increasing its raw material surcharge by $70 per ton ($3.50 per hundredweight) effective with Jan. 1 shipments, but it will reduce base prices on rebar and merchant bar products by $70 per ton, resulting in no net change.

"We don't feel that the market has reached the point where it is ready for a transactional price increase," said D. Michael Parrish, the Nucor executive vice president who heads the company's bar mill group. "But we do feel we have reached the bottom on pricing. We're expecting to see inventories reduced in the first quarter and order entry to get a little stronger."....

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