Structural steel imports slow to near standstill

Nov 21, 2012 | 01:35 PM | Catherine Ngai

Tags  structural steel, beams, angles, Port of Houston, Turkey, steel trader, construction

NEW YORK — Demand for imported structural steel products remains slim to none, but market participants anticipate a turnaround in the New Year if a solution to the fiscal cliff materializes.

Much of the difficulty in selling imports in recent months stems from the fact that imported pricing has hovered very close to domestic pricing, which discourages buyers to take the plunge with long lead times from countries such as Turkey, sources said.

That lack of a pricing advantage, coupled with a poor domestic construction sector, has caused little to no traction in the structural steel import market, sources said.
“Things have been really tough. The spreads between domestic and import are getting tighter and tighter and foreign mills don’t do a lot of rebates,” said one trader. “Demand has been really low and there’s just no confidence in the market. We’re hoping to see a bounce in 2013, but we’ll see how it goes.” ....

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