Sheet prices inch up but volumes signal doubts

Aug 08, 2013 | 06:01 PM | Catherine Ngai

Tags  steel sheet, hot-rolled, traders, steel prices, price hikes, catherine ngai

NEW YORK — Steel sheet prices have ticked up slightly over the past week but volumes purchased reportedly have declined as some buyers speculate that recent pricing highs will be short lived

Hot-rolled sheet transactions this week were reported at $33 per hundredweight ($660 per ton), up from $32.25 per cwt ($645 per ton) last week, sources said, the highest level since September 2012, when prices started off the month at around $33.50 per cwt ($670 per ton).

Since the end of May, U.S. steel mills have successfully ratcheted up average transaction prices for hot-rolled sheet from $28 per cwt ($560 per ton) to this year’s published high of $33.50 to $33.75 per cwt ($670 to $675 per ton). But while certain supply constraints helped tighten the market, and in turn lifted prices, some sources are now questioning whether an inevitable tumble is around the corner.....

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