Steel buyers bide time; price discounts vanish

Jan 30, 2013 | 06:02 PM | Catherine Ngai

Tags  steel, SteelBenchmarker, AK Steel, flat-rolled steel, steel prices, price increases, Catherine Ngai

NEW YORK — Buyers of flat-rolled steel are waiting for the dust to settle on last week’s price increases before placing new orders, according to sources. But while the jury is still out on the effectiveness of the hikes, discounts are now nowhere to be found.

While mills have quoted prices below the levels sought with last week’s hikes, they haven’t offered any discounts, market participants said.

A number of mills—led by West Chester, Ohio-based AK Steel Corp.—last week raised prices some $40 to $50 per ton ($2 to $2.50 per hundredweight) effective immediately (, Jan. 24). But buyers had said previously that increases were unlikely to stick as lackluster demand and short lead times put downward pressure on steel prices. ....

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