Flat-roll import market quiet on demand lull

Feb 05, 2013 | 04:25 PM | Catherine Ngai

Tags  steel imports, hot-rolled coil, cold-rolled sheet, import prices, steel prices, flat-rolled steel, Catherine Ngai

LAS VEGAS — The flat-rolled steel import market continues to drag on the back of weak domestic demand and increased prices for foreign material, traders say.

Hot-rolled offers have been minimal in recent months due to softening U.S. prices and a lack of foreign sources. Coil offers from Russia, which were popular and competitive last year, have become nonexistent as the revised suspension agreement with Russia has resulted in higher prices. Outside of Russia, little opportunities for hot-rolled exist, sources say.

"It’s really tough right now and it’s pretty quiet. The U.S. mills are looking for business and ways to move steel. Price hikes aren’t sticking and we’re all waiting to see what will happen," one trader said. "Last year there were Russian coils, but now there aren’t any places to get hot-rolled from."....

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