Hot-rolled coil tags up; imports may limit gains

Jan 03, 2014 | 01:40 PM | Thorsten Schier

Tags  flat-rolled steel, hot-rolled coil, cold-rolled coil, steel prices, steel imports, Thorsten Schier

NEW YORK — Hot-rolled coil prices picked up this past week thanks to a late-December increase by U.S. mills and continued buying by service centers amid low inventory levels, but market sources were split on how much further tags can rise when factoring in current import offers.

"Real demand for service centers and their customers is improved while inventory positions are low, so people will have to continue to purchase. Between that and imports, it’s a bit of a balance right now," one Midwest service center source said, adding that recent increases have prices "teetering on the near-term peak unless capacity comes offline unpredictably."....

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