Buyers question mill hikes as shipments lag

Jun 18, 2013 | 06:37 PM | Michael Cowden

Tags  steel shipments, steel inventories, steel, steel prices, MSCI, etals Service Center Institute, Steel Success Strategies conference, SSS conference Corinna Petry

CHICAGO — U.S. and Canadian service centers recorded drops in both steel shipments and inventories in May as market players questioned the ability of domestic mills to stick to their guns on recently announced price moves.

Customers continue to buy only what they need in a market characterized by intense price competition and abundant steel supplies, attendees said on the sidelines of the Steel Success Strategies XXVIII conference in New York, sponsored by AMM and Englewood Cliffs, N.J.-based World Steel Dynamics Inc.

"Customers are calling five distributors (to get the lowest price) before placing an order," a Great Lakes sheet distributor said. "Nothing has changed demand, so customers do not understand why prices are up."....

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