Steel distributors hopeful for balanced 1st qtr.

Nov 01, 2011 | 01:30 PM | Frank Haflich

Tags  association of steel distributors, tim loeffel, william feniger, universal metals, james barnett, grand steel products, vitco steel supply, william vitucci frank haflich

LAS VEGAS — Steel distributors predict a continuing scramble for market share amid a seasonal downturn but are hopeful that the market will self-correct by the first quarter.

Members of the Association of Steel Distributors (ASD) pointed out at the group’s fall conference in Las Vegas that the seasonal market downturn—which usually starts in November and December—instead began in October,

Tim Loeffel, vice president and director of purchasing at Loeffel Steel Products Inc., Barrington, Ill., said that flat-rolled steel prices had deteriorated "pretty quickly" by about $40 per ton since mid-October—a decline being felt in the resale sector, where distributors are jostling to preserve market share. "You will see people reducing their prices (in order) to keep their same business," he said.....

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