Flat-rolled steel buyers sitting out

Apr 16, 2012 | 04:26 PM | Catherine Ngai

Tags  steel, hot-rolled imports, imports, sheet, plate, catherine ngai

LONDON — Flat-rolled steel traders trying to book orders for summer delivery are being priced out of the U.S. market on rumors that prices will  fall in the near term.

"Buyers are very cautious about buying right now, even with price incentives," one steel trader said. "There’s just too much uncertainty in the market, and it doesn’t look like any buyers believe prices will increase. Instead, it’s the reverse. They buy what they want, and then they wait."

A number of U.S. mills have tried to hike flat-rolled prices in recent weeks. While a number of Midwest service centers reported that some of the price hikes were sticking (AMM, April 11), buyers in the Northeast and South said they haven’t seen any price increases since the beginning of the year. ....

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