CURRENCY Different strokes for different folks along the supply chain

Mar 01, 2008 | 01:27 PM |

The impact of the weak U.S. dollar has hit home at service centers as prices for imported steel products soar. While the greenback and general uncertainty over the U.S. economy have left some dark clouds hovering over U.S. industry, there might be a silver lining.

Kelly Pipe Co., a Santa Fe Springs, Calif.-based distributor, is one example. In late January, amid a rash of hikes, the company was informed that quotes for extra heavy-walled standard pipe from South Korea would climb by $120 a ton for second-quarter shipments vs. the first quarter. Earle Cohen, president and chief executive officer, lost little time notifying his sales staff.

"Obviously, we don't want to be selling too much below what our replacement cost might be four months from now," Cohen said. While competitive factors meant that it might not be realistic to expect a steep price rise to be pushed through immediately, it is nevertheless a good idea to make sure that the price you charge today doesn't ignore what you'll paying for new inventory in the future, he said. ....

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