Sheet market mixed on price direction

Apr 10, 2014 | 04:53 PM | Catherine Ngai

Tags  steel sheet, hot-rolled, cold-rolled, steel buyer, U.S. Steel, Nucor, steel imports, Catherine Ngai

NEW YORK — Market participants are mixed over where flat-rolled prices will settle after a round of increases late last week, with buyers and sellers expressing uncertainty on how long the market will remain tight.

Of concern is how much the tightness in the market is a direct result of an outage at U.S. Steel Corp.’s Great Lakes Works in Ecorse, Mich., and a lack of raw materials at the Pittsburgh producer’s Gary Works in northwest Indiana. In what is described as a precarious dance between mill and buyer, many are still struggling to find out where the new prices, which are generally agreed to be higher, will settle.

"We know the tightness is a supply effect. There’s a lot less steel out there, so logic says it’s much tighter," one mill source said. "The market has been a little slow to react, though, and it could be that some just aren’t feeling the pinch yet."....

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