SBQ prices may have peaked: buyers

Mar 14, 2012 | 03:11 PM | Corinna Petry

Tags  SBQ, special bar quality steel, pricing trends, demand, imports, lead times, China, inventory levels European Union

CHICAGO — Domestic demand for hot-rolled and cold finished bar remains relatively robust, but with competitively priced imports on the rise, sources agree pricing may have peaked.

According to market players, demand for special bar quality (SBQ) steel remains healthy, especially for automotive, heavy equipment and energy applications. But at the same time, as demand growth decelerates and certain imports rack up market share, buyers say they see little impetus for prices to rise further into the second quarter.

"There is a fair amount of import coming in and the material is competitively priced," said a northern distributor. "I don’t think the market will be able to absorb any increases."....

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