Auto strength fails to bolster steel prices

Apr 01, 2013 | 01:43 PM | Frank Haflich

Tags  ASD, Association of Steel Distributors, steel, steel prices, Northshore Metals, Grand Steel Products, Voss Industries, Midwest Materials Heidtman Steel Products

PALM DESERT, Calif. — Steel distributors continue to see stagnant pricing despite mills’ persistent attempts to raise prices, although some key areas—such as automotive—are showing signs of strength.

"There’s just not a lot of upside (pricing) potential in the market," Jim Barnett, president and chief executive officer of Grand Steel Products Inc., Wixom, Mich., said on the sidelines of the Association of Steel Distributors’ 2013 annual convention in Palm Desert.

Nearly $200 in flat-rolled hikes have been announced over the past five months, Barnett noted. But while prices might rise briefly following an announcement, the market eventually "seeks its own level," making any improvement temporary, he said. "I don’t think the actual amount of the transaction price has increased more than $40 per ton (over this period)."....

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