Wire rod hikes fail as imports hit US shores

Apr 05, 2012 | 03:45 PM | Michael Cowden

Tags  wire rod, wire rod prices, long producs, automotive, construction, Michael Cowden

TORONTO — Price hike attempts by a number of U.S. wire rod mills appear to have fallen apart due to a combination of weak demand from the construction sector, increased imports and expectations of lower scrap prices.

But while it appears the increases did not stick, they may have served to keep domestic prices from sliding much further, market sources suggested. "Maybe the best defense (against falling prices) was a good offense," one rod buyer said.

A second rod buyer agreed. "(The increase letters) had more to do with a fear by some that they needed to take a position to hang on to what they had, and they didn’t want to see further erosion," he said.

A number of U.S. wire rod mills announced in mid-March price increases of $20 per ton ($1 per hundredweight), including Keystone Steel & Wire Co., ArcelorMittal Long Carbon North America and Charter Steel.....

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