Long products hike gives imports shot in arm

Apr 22, 2013 | 02:04 PM | Catherine Ngai

Tags  imports, long products, steel, rebar, wire rod, Nucor, traders, China Catherine Ngai

NEW YORK — Strength in the long steel products import market seems to have carried beyond the first few months of the year, with traders and buyers saying that attractive foreign prices have allowed for ongoing deals even in a fragile marketplace.

"Business is OK, but it isn’t gangbusters," one trader said. "Buyers are kind of going hand to mouth. We’re picking up orders, but we’re not booking huge vessels. For the most part, people are doing OK. This year has definitely been better than last."

Imports of reinforcing bar (rebar) and wire rod historically see stronger volumes at the start of the year due to expected price hikes in the first quarter on scrap shortages, with volumes tapering off into the summer. But this year seems to have bucked that trend, sources said, with buyers continuing to make purchases for shipment through the summer. ....

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