HSS price run-up could be short-lived: buyers

Dec 22, 2011 | 05:23 PM | Michael Cowden

Tags  HSS, steel, prices, steel tube, steel pipe, coil, flat rolled steel, Michael Cowden

TORONTO — Hollow structural section (HSS) buyers expect prices to increase going into 2012, but just how long that trend will last remains to be seen, with some predicting the run-up could lose steam by the end of the first quarter.

The expectation of rising HSS tags comes as tubing mills continue to see their main input material—steel coil—pick up speed. Coil mills, which produce the substrate used to make welded tubular products, such as HSS, have been relatively firm about holding the line on their own price hikes, forcing tube mills to try to do the same, sources said.

Citing rising raw materials costs, HSS mills earlier this month announced a price increase of $50 per ton ($2.50 per cwt), in most cases effective immediately for new orders but not until early January for those already on the books. But since the early December HSS increases, a number of flat-rolled mills have raised their coil prices further still, leaving some players speculating that an HSS holiday price hike isn’t out of the question.....

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