SBQ prices firm despite lower demand

Nov 14, 2012 | 02:28 PM | Corinna Petry

Tags  special bar quality, pricing, demand, supply, Obama, Caterpillar, Deere, heavy truck mining equipment

CHICAGO — Demand for engineered bar products has fallen sharply during the fourth quarter, according to cold finishers, service centers and end-users, but transaction prices were flat to up slightly during the first two weeks of November as buyers made smaller-volume purchases.

Spot quotes this week on hot-rolled 1000-series rounds were up 8.6 percent from a month ago. Despite shortened lead times and plentiful material throughout the supply chain, special bar quality (SBQ) steelmakers are maintaining their discipline and not providing discounts, many buyers told AMM.

"The November price is basically flat. The dilemma for the mills is they can’t live with prices where they are at and cannot create demand," a source at a northern Great Lakes bar processor said. "Demand is not as good as you’d want. Customers are still not able to forecast and they are just grinding it through the rest of the year."....

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