Flat-roll producers set $30-a-ton hike for Feb.

Dec 13, 2007 | 02:53 PM | Scott Robertson

Producers of carbon flat-rolled steel products are seeking price increases of $30 a ton for February shipments, their second attempt at a 2008 price hike.

Several mills—including AK Steel Corp., West Chester, Ohio; ArcelorMittal Flat Products USA, Chicago; Nucor Corp., Charlotte, N.C.; and U.S. Steel Corp., Pittsburgh—informed buyers this week either by letter or telephone that they intend to boost prices on hot-rolled, cold-rolled and coated sheet products by $30 a ton effective Feb. 1, buyer sources said.

That's on top of plans announced in October for price increases of $30 to $40 a ton effective with Jan. 1 shipments, with producers citing increased demand for steel as well as the need to recoup margins lost to higher costs for such raw materials as coal, iron ore and scrap. Those same factors are at play for the February increase, although buyer sources say demand remains stagnant, not strong.

"Anyone who tells you this increase is based on demand is lying," one service center source said. "It's a combination of a few things, but demand is not one of them."....

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