Commodity-grade steel imports trickle to halt

Apr 02, 2013 | 03:27 PM | Catherine Ngai

Tags  imports, steel, flat rolled, steel traders, East Coast, Port of Houston, cold-rolled, catherine ngai

NEW YORK — The flat-rolled steel import sector continues to drag its feet as an oversupplied U.S. market and softening domestic prices make stateside sales unattractive, traders said, with some noting that the only place to make money moving forward may be in niche product imports.

While steel traders have enjoyed some periods of competitive sourcing this past year, such as the round of attractive Russian hot-rolled deals last spring and sales of competitive Chinese cold-rolled in the fall, attractive import deals in the U.S. steel market have effectively fizzled out. Behind the shift is a combination of steady but not robust U.S. steel demand, domestic oversupply, lower U.S. sheet prices and increased international prices, trader and buyer sources said.....

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