Flat-rolled steel buyers look for metal offshore

Oct 23, 2013 | 06:13 PM | Catherine Ngai

Tags  steel traders, indexed base pricing, CRU index, 2014 contract talks, service centers, imports, Catherine Ngai

NEW YORK — Discipline shown by U.S. mills to move away from index-based discounting has pushed some flat-rolled steel buyers to source offshore material as a way to hedge against potentially higher costs in 2014.

U.S. steelmakers have remained steadfast, refusing to extend contracts offering a percentage deal off the CRU index (amm.com, Oct. 23).

As a result, some service center buyers, wary of an uncertain steel market coupled with cut-throat competition downstream, told AMM they are opting to hedge with increased buying offshore.

The implication is that even though U.S. steelmakers will likely achieve higher prices next year, which would improve margins, volumes could be thinner due to business going offshore.....

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