W. Coast flat-roll tags off $30 a ton on slack demand

Dec 04, 2006 | 12:12 PM | Frank Haflich

Demand for flat-rolled steel remains sluggish on the West Coast as buyers struggle to work off existing stocks amid falling end-market consumption.

While part of the falloff is due to normal year-end inventory trimming, a further decline in business activity has contributed to an estimated $20- to $30-a-ton decline in prices during the past four to six weeks.

"It's slow for everybody, mainly seasonal, but probably a little slower than usual," a service center executive said. The view seems to be a typical one on the West Coast.

This means that some buyers and mill executives previously looking for a pickup to occur early in the New Year are pretty much writing off most of the first quarter and aren't expecting much of an improvement to be evident until late February or March.....

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