Stainless users find little relief in offshore buying

Dec 06, 2006 | 02:32 PM | Maria Guzzo

Despite record-high stainless steel prices in the United States, consumers aren't finding much relief in buying offshore.

North American prices for flat-rolled stainless steel are on par with, and in some cases less than, foreign material, several domestic service centers said. However, when it comes to more specialty products, foreign mills seem to have a small price advantage.

For December, stainless cold-rolled Type 304 commodity sheet stands at $2.12 a pound from Asian producers, while U.S. product is on par or even a few cents cheaper, depending on the mill, one West Coast service center manager said. However, the thinner, more intermediate gauge Type 304 cold-rolled sheet can be purchased from Asian producers for $2.03 a pound, 4 to 5 percent less than U.S. producer prices.....

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