OCTG slide shocks mart; China leads import surge

Dec 27, 2007 | 02:08 PM | Michael Cowden

Spot prices for oil country tubular goods (OCTG) resumed their slide in December after largely holding steady the prior month, surprising some industry observers who had expected higher prices in the wake of lower imports in November and mill price hikes.

Some observers argued that the dip was a year-end anomaly and that prices will shift upward in the first quarter, but others insisted that prices will continue to trend downward despite the best efforts of the domestic mills because of decreased demand and persistently high inventories.

The average spot price for OCTG slipped to $1,357 a ton, f.o.b. Houston, down $8 (0.6 percent) from $1,365 in both November and October, according to data from Pipe Logix Inc., a Santa Fe, N.M.-based affiliate of Spears & Associates Inc. that tracks prices for distributors selling to end-users. The average spot price for electric-resistance welded (ERW) products fell to $1,289 a ton, down $11 (0.8 percent) from $1,300 a ton in November, and the average price for seamless products slid to $1,425 a ton, down $6 (0.4 percent) from $1,431 a ton.....

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