Fate of W. Coast flat-roll price hikes uncertain

Mar 20, 2013 | 03:41 PM | Frank Haflich

Tags  flat-rolled steel, cold-rolled, hot-rolled, CSI, USS-Posco, Frank Haflich

LOS ANGELES — Flat-rolled steel price increases on the West Coast this month are being greeted cautiously by buyers, who say there is too much uncertainty at this point to jump on board.

While there has been some limited upward movement in transaction prices, with hot-rolled sheet up $8 to $10 per ton from some buyers’ previous purchases, most market sources aren’t losing any sleep over the possibility that prices will take off anytime soon.

"The lead times are too short," said one buyer, who, like some others, noted that hot-rolled sheet from east of the Rockies originally quoted for production about four weeks out is instead being shipped up to two weeks earlier in some cases.....

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