Bottom seen in flat-roll, but long road ahead

Dec 22, 2008 | 12:44 PM | Scott Robertson

Carbon flat-rolled steel buyers believe the bottom of the market has been reached, but still see a long, slow winter ahead with few signs of upward price movement.

"There is nothing happening at all," said one Midwest steel processor. "We've gotten first-quarter pricing from a couple of mills already, which is unprecedented, but we're not going to take it. We're going to play the market a little bit."

He said that some of his largest customers have told him to hold off buying rather than lock in tons at the prices suggested by his steel suppliers.

"They want to ride the rail a little bit," he said. "They told me that if the price goes up, they'll pay it. But they don't have any need for anything so they're willing to wait to see what happens. They figure it's not going to go up much, if at all, and if it goes down it's to their benefit."....





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