Outages to support higher long product prices

Nov 13, 2013 | 04:25 PM | Samuel Frizell

Tags  Long products, merchant bar, rebar, wire rod, mill outages, price increases, Nucor, Gerdau Long Steel North America Commercial Metals

NEW YORK — The recent round of price increases on long products is likely to be supported by planned maintenance outages at wire rod, merchant bar and rebar mills until year-end, industry sources said.

Most long products mills have scheduled downtime during Christmas week, but some mills have planned extra downtime this month and during Thanksgiving week, putting a potential stopper on supply that could help support price increases.

"That’s part of the strategy: to take time out. What’s happening here is these guys have given up more than a decline in scrap. They’ve dug their heels in; ultimately, they feel they can’t let this deteriorate anymore," a wire rod buyer said. "(ArcelorMittal chief executive officer) Lakshmi Mittal restrained supply to hold prices up. Mills have used that strategy for 10 years."....

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