Reliance expects stronger demand in ’14

Feb 20, 2014 | 05:26 PM | Michael Cowden

Tags  Reliance Steel & Aluminum, David Hannah, Gregg Mollins, William Sales, outlook, steel, flat-rolled, plate beams

CHICAGO — Reliance Steel & Aluminum Co. expects prices and demand to improve in 2014 and is already seeing better results, company executives said.

Such predictions may feel like déjà vu, given that the Los Angeles-based service center has predicted better times before only to be proven wrong, said chairman and chief executive officer David Hannah.

The difference this year is that "we’re actually seeing rather than just anticipating demand increases ... in our order books right now," Hannah said during an earnings conference call with analysts Feb. 20.

Prices are up an average of 1.5 percent in January compared with December, Hannah said. "We have probably not seen average pricing on a sequential basis go up ... in the past 12 to 14 months, so we’re encouraged. The demand looks better and it just feels better this year than it did last year at this time."....

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