Hot-rolled sheet prices continue downward trend [UPDATE]

Dec 20, 2006 | 08:56 AM | Scott Robertson

U.S. spot market prices for carbon hot-rolled sheet have slipped another $20 a ton as producers continued to wait out an inventory correction at the service center level.

Most mills are offering hot-rolled sheet at $540 as ton ($27 per hundredweight), down from $560 a ton ($28 per cwt) previously (AMM, Dec. 6), market sources said. There are reports of scattered deals below those levels—in some cases at prices as low as $500 a ton ($25 per cwt), but most sources pegged hot-rolled at the $540-a-ton level.

What once had been a pricing gap between the Big Three U.S. steel producers—Mittal Steel USA Inc., Chicago; U.S. Steel Corp., Pittsburgh; and Nucor Corp., Charlotte, N.C.—and smaller producers has virtually closed, those same sources said.

Nowadays, Nucor remains vigilant about holding prices at slightly higher levels that are closer to the previous number, while Mittal Steel and U.S. Steel, which had been in that range, have dropped down to $540-a-ton level of the smaller mills, the sources said.....

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