Steel buyers on sidelines despite coming hikes

Mar 04, 2013 | 05:15 PM | Corinna Petry

Tags  flat rolled demand, supply, mill price increases, steel buyers forum survey, orders, backlog, inventory planning

CHICAGO — Announced price increases and small pockets of improved demand have not been enough to pull many steel buyers off the sidelines, sources have told AMM, with most distributors maintaining the high levels of caution—and low levels of inventory—that became the new norm in recent down cycles.

"Our purchases won’t hit the peaks we hit in the strongest part of last year," one Midwest sheet and plate buyer told AMM, noting that while "inventories and finished goods are still getting worked through," stock levels are still at relative lows.

A Southern steel buyer agreed, adding that he was moving steel but not taking many risks.....

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