Balanced SBQ market keeps prices in line

Apr 06, 2012 | 02:33 PM | Corinna Petry

Tags  special bar quality, steel prices, Gerdau Long Steel, Corinna Petry

CHICAGO — The special bar quality (SBQ) steel products market is seeing somewhat of a rare occurrence: supply-demand balance.

As a result, prices are holding largely steady in April compared with March, and consumers expect little or no change for May as well, sources in the domestic SBQ market told AMM.

"I see the numbers as flat," a Great Lakes bar processor said. "I don’t think there is enough pressure to push them down and the mills are not wanting to deal downward. The sense is that business is good enough to support (quotes) where they’re at, but not enough to support an increase."

Earlier this year, Gerdau Long Steel North America announced plans to raise its base price by $40 per ton for March 1 shipments (AMM, Feb. 7), but sources confirmed that the hike never went into effect, contributing to the overall stability of the SBQ pricing environment.....

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