Steel pipe tags rise despite year-end doldrums

Dec 18, 2012 | 04:14 PM | Michael Cowden

Tags  steel tube, steel pipe, HSS, energy tubulars, agriculture, automotive, energy, energy tubulars trade petition

CHICAGO — Steel pipe and tube market activity has slowed as the traditional year-end doldrums have kicked in, leaving market players scratching their heads about what 2013 might bring.

Opinion is divided, with respondents to a recent AMM survey describing the state of the market as "poor," "fair" or "good" in roughly equal measures. Still, some two-thirds of respondents said that they expect prices to remain where they are next year, with the balance expecting slight increases.

One pipe mill respondent said that most of the sheet price increases announced over the last two months have been holding, bolstering tags despite lackluster demand.

But another pipe mill source said that his company had been able to secure some of the cheapest prices for coil—the substrate for pipe and tube—that it had seen in about five years. "Price increase are negotiable," the source said. "They’re not really holding, and deals are being made." ....

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