Evraz’s mill closure may lift plate prices

Oct 14, 2013 | 05:07 PM | Catherine Ngai

Tags  steel, Evraz North America, plate mill, ArcelorMittal USA, Nucor, SSAB Americas, Claymont mill, Catherine Ngai

NEW YORK — The shuttering of Evraz Inc. North America’s Claymont, Del., operations will likely give steelmakers a reason to raise plate prices in a lackluster market, according to market participants.

Plate makers have faced flat market conditions in recent months, particularly due to steady but dull demand, competitive import offerings in certain regions and downstream competition.

However, the Chicago-based steelmaker’s Oct. 14 announcement that it would shutter the Claymont operations due to "subdued market demand" and a "high volume of imports" could shake the market slightly, at least for those operating in the Northeast, East Coast and parts of the Midwest, sources said, because the supply taken offline could cause an uptick in purchasing in the near term.

"I would expect (the other mills) to try and take advantage of this by raising prices," one Midwest service center source said. "(Evraz wasn’t) producing a lot of tons, but there’s going to be some speculation buys and a little spark where people are looking to stock up. I don’t see it having a major impact, though, until we see demand really pick up."....

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