Plentiful supply, softer demand hit steel plate

Jan 18, 2013 | 01:50 PM | Catherine Ngai

Tags  steel plate, domestic mills, European plate, steel traders, steel service centers, catherine ngai

NEW YORK — Citing plentiful supply and weak demand, U.S. buyers of steel plate say the market is facing downward pressure and could see prices soften in the weeks ahead.

Buyers had said earlier this month that market conditions looked promising, with many consumers contending a typical January uptick was just around the corner (, Jan. 10). However, that expected pickup appears to have stalled due to oversupply at domestic mills, sources said.

"The mills look as if they have good amounts of inventory on the ground. I don’t think the market is very strong. And things are softening," a Midwest service center source said. "There’s so much capacity in the market right now, especially on the coil side."

A mill source who had anticipated the usual seasonal uptick in January agreed that a turnaround remains to be seen. "We expected a little spark in the first quarter, but we don’t see it at all. Inquiry levels are quite dead, even after we perceive it to be a good price," he said. "There seems to be a standstill in the market."....

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