Sheet prices said on upward trajectory for 2012

Dec 29, 2011 | 03:11 PM | Anne Riley

Tags  steel prices, scrap prices, steel benchmarker, sheet, RG Steel, Sparrows Point, Anne Riley

NEW YORK — Flat-rolled steel prices appear poised to hit the ground running in 2012 as the expectation of higher January scrap tags and a temporary blast furnace curtailment by RG Steel LLC provide the domestic market some welcome support.

Hot-rolled sheet prices, which grazed lows near $600 per ton ($30 per hundredweight) at the start of the fourth quarter, have rebounded to current spot levels between $720 and $740 per ton ($36 to $37 per cwt), according to mill and service center sources.

"For February, $37 (per cwt) is being collected. Everybody’s got a decent book right now," one steelmaker source told AMM.

The higher price trend is confirmed by SteelBenchmarker’s Dec. 26 report, released Wednesday, which said that hot-rolled band prices east of the Mississippi averaged $774 per tonne ($702 per ton) f.o.b. mill, up 2.4 percent from $756 per tonne ($686 per ton) two weeks earlier, while cold-rolled prices rose 2.5 percent to $890 per tonne ($808 per ton) from $868 per tonne ($788 per ton).....

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