Flat-rolled buyers pare stocks in ‘neutral’ mart

May 09, 2012 | 02:59 PM | Corinna Petry

Tags  steel prices, purchasing, inventory levels, Institute for Supply Management, Steel Buyers Forum, imports, production rates

CHICAGO — Flat-rolled steel service centers across the country are reining in their inventory levels as the market continues to level off, sources have told AMM.

Although most distributors said they continue to move material on a steady basis, the sense that prices are coming under pressure is encouraging many to keep their stock levels under control, market participants said.

"Our business is steady but we are reducing inventories," a buyer in the Midwest said. "With summer coming, prices are likely more down than up, and we don’t need to make (volume) commitments in the short term."

According to the Institute for Supply Management’s latest Steel Buyers Forum survey, 50 percent of April respondents planned to decrease their stock levels over the next six months, up from 38.5 percent who planned to do so in March. Meanwhile, 41.7 percent plan to maintain their current inventories in the next six months, while just 8.3 percent intend to increase their stock levels.....

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