Early summer brings domestic plate slowdown

May 11, 2012 | 04:09 PM | Anne Riley

Tags  steel plate, imports, cut-to-length plate, Korea, plate prices, Anne Riley

NEW YORK — Summer appears to have come early for the domestic steel plate market, with distributors reporting a slowdown in both activity and pricing that usually isn’t witnessed until the third quarter.

"We’re used to seeing maybe July, August slowing down and some retraction in pricing at the mill level during that slowdown, but we’ve definitely seen a slowdown early this year," one Midwest service center source said, noting that the pullback in activity for his business started about three weeks ago.

"Our bookings have been off; the number of inquires has been off," he said. "I’m not sure why—there’s been no change in our large OEM (original equipment manufacturer) customers’ forecasts and builds—but I’m hoping it’s fairly short-lived and doesn’t go all the way through summer."....

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