Steel, aluminum prices have hit floor: Reliance

Jul 26, 2012 | 03:26 PM | Corinna Petry

Tags  Reliance Steel & Aluminum. Dave Hannah, Gregg Mollins, steel, stainless, aluminum, corinna petry

CHICAGO — After months of pullback, domestic metal prices appear to have reached their floor, with prices expected to regain lost ground in the months ahead as demand from major end-use sectors remains solid, according to Reliance Steel & Aluminum Co. executives.

Right now, "carbon, stainless and aluminum prices should be near the bottom," chairman and chief executive officer David H. Hannah said Thursday during Reliance’s quarterly earnings conference call, noting that the Los Angeles-based service center operator is expecting modest price increases for most products by the end of the third quarter.

Metal price declines since March "seemed a little deeper and went on for a little longer than we anticipated and are still going on (in such products as merchant bar and beams)," Hannah said. That pricing weakness impacted purchasing patterns throughout the second quarter. If customers "aren’t convinced they are going up, they will wait to buy. If prices do go up, they’ll buy today as they need it," he said.....

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