West Coast flat-roll pricing benchmark out of whack

Dec 16, 2010 | 01:30 PM |

The current steel price run-up appears to have thrown a time-honored pricing benchmark on the West Coast out of whack, at least temporarily.

The old rule of thumb that flat-rolled steel in the region generally reflects prices in the Midwest, plus freight, has become strained during the past few weeks as mills east of the Rockies piled one increase on top of another while mills on the West Coast only recently have opened their books for February.

Prices in the Midwest, including the latest increases by mills, rose this week to as high as $710 per ton ($35.50 per hundredweight) for hot-rolled coil (AMM, Dec. 15). This would normally indicate a hot-rolled price on the West Coast approaching $40 per cwt ($800 per ton), once freight is included.....

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