Foreign flat-rolled may thwart domestic hikes

Dec 21, 2011 | 04:27 PM | Catherine Ngai

Tags  Russia, Europe, Turkey, China, hot-rolled prices, import prices, traders, price hikes foreign steel

NEW YORK — An increase in flat-rolled steel imports expected to arrive in the middle of next quarter could undermine the recent string of domestic price hikes, but that soon-to-arrive material might begin to appear less attractive if the domestic mills start to undercut their own prices, importers and foreign steel buyers told AMM.

Although imports of some flat-rolled steel products, particularly plate, have leveled off in recent months, a pickup in volume is forecast to hit U.S. shores in the first quarter as foreign mills and importers look to take advantage of higher domestic spot prices.

"This market is certainly the best market out there right now in terms of exchange rates. We’re picking up a few things and locking in some orders," said one trader. ....

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