Flat-rolled steel orders tepid, distributors say

Mar 18, 2013 | 02:58 PM | Corinna Petry

Tags  Metals Service Center Institute, MSCI, steel distributors, shipments, inventories, corinna petry

CHICAGO — It might be March Madness for college basketball but it’s proving to be more a month of malaise for steel distributors, who aren’t seeing much upward movement in demand or spot pricing despite recent price hike attempts.

"There is not a real strong pulse to the steel market," a source at an upper Great Lakes flat-rolled distributor told AMM. "February was steady year over year but our shipments will be down in March. That tells me demand is tepid."

Steel shipments by U.S. members of the Metals Service Center Institute (MSCI) averaged 168,400 tons per day last month, a scant 1.7 percent ahead of 165,600 tons in January but down 3.3 percent from 174,100 tons per day in February last year. Steel shipments by Canadian service centers averaged 23,200 tons per day in February, down 2.1 percent from 23,700 tons the previous month and 10.1 percent lower than 25,800 tons per day a year earlier.....

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