Flat-rolled steel imports slow to trickle

Jun 29, 2012 | 03:37 PM | Catherine Ngai

Tags  steel prices, traders, steel imports, Port of Houston, plate, cold-rolled steel, hot-rolled steel, Catherine Ngai

NEW YORK — The flat-rolled steel import market continued to drag its feet this past week as would-be buyers showed little interest in foreign material in a declining domestic market.

"Business has been really slow. We’re booking a little bit on the West Coast, but buyers are unwilling to buy (foreign) when the domestics are near or at the bottom," one trader said. "It’s been difficult."

Domestic flat-rolled prices have fallen steadily in recent weeks as many customers continue to buy on an as-needed basis as they await a pricing floor. As a result, traders have reported little interest and even fewer sales for foreign steel now available for October delivery.

"The last three months have been slow for sheet (imports). It hasn’t tanked, but it’s not getting any better," the trader said.....

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