W. Coast flat-roll buyers still wary of committing

Dec 23, 2008 | 12:04 PM | Frank Haflich

West Coast flat-rolled steel buyers aren't showing much enthusiasm for 2009.

Despite growing sentiment that the second-half free-fall in prices may be ending, both buyers and producers are entering the New Year with little optimism about first-quarter demand.

California Steel Industries (CSI), which extended the normal December maintenance period for its hot strip mill in Fontana, Calif., based on market conditions, intended to start up the mill for a limited period of a week or less then restart it once again after the New Year on a reduced level.

While CSI's No. 1 galvanized line, which produces heavier gauges, is running on a restrained basis, the idle No. 2 galvanized line is due to restart for a limited period in January to meet an existing order but may operate longer if any additional business comes in, according to market sources.....

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