Distributors puzzled by merchant product cuts

Feb 21, 2013 | 05:56 PM | Samuel Frizell

Tags  Nucor, Gerdau Long Steel North America, Steel Dynamics, SDI, merchant products, price decrease, scrap, steel imports Samuel Frizell

NEW YORK — Mill buyers and distributors of merchant products were left with unanswered questions and devalued inventories following the unexpected $50-per-ton price drop by major domestic mills last week, with many of them blaming competition with imports for the reduction.

"Our inventory got slashed overnight. I’m not quite sure what brought it on. I’m just as puzzled about it as anyone. Exactly what was behind it, I don’t know," one distributor said.

Nucor Corp. lowered its prices on merchant products by $50 per ton effective with Feb. 15 shipments (amm.com, Feb. 15) and Gerdau Long Steel North America and Fort Wayne, Ind.-based Steel Dynamics Inc. (SDI) followed suit the next day (amm.com, Feb. 20).....

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