Steel buyers’ sentiment up but caution remains

Feb 04, 2013 | 02:35 PM | Corinna Petry

Tags  Steel buyers forum survey, Institute for Supply Management, ISM, steel inventories, steel prices, new orders, backlogs, scrap steel demand

CHICAGO — Sentiment among steel buyers improved in January, even as lead times remained short and some would-be buyers continued to sit out amid plentiful inventory levels and some lingering uncertainty.

Of the Steel Buyers Forum members surveyed in January, 36.4 percent predicted their incoming orders would rise in the next three months, up from 27.3 percent in December, according to data from the Institute for Supply Management (ISM). January’s response rate marked the first time since April 2012 that no respondents forecast a drop in incoming orders during the next three months, ISM data show.

Meanwhile, 36.4 percent of respondents said shipping levels in January were up compared with three months earlier, double the 18.2 percent who said the same thing in December, while those reporting a reduction in shipments vs. three months earlier fell to 18.2 percent from 63.6 percent the previous month.....

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