Tube prices to climb on input costs: Zekelman

Apr 21, 2014 | 01:46 PM | Michael Cowden

Tags  JMC Steel Group, Barry Zekelman, flat-rolled, hollow structural sections, HSS, Great Lakes, Lake Superior, St. Mary's River ice

CHICAGO — JMC Steel Group Inc. aims to increase pipe and tube prices again because of higher costs and a supply squeeze created by lost production at iron ore-starved steel mills, the company’s top executive said.

"We’re trying to layer it in so as not to shock our customer base. But the reality is our substrate cost has gone up, and we have to raise prices—there is no magic bullet," JMC chairman and chief executive officer Barry Zekelman said in an exclusive interview with AMM.

Flat-rolled steel producers have announced price increases totaling about $80 to $100 per ton ($4 to $5 per hundredweight) while tube mills have pushed tags up by only $40 per ton ($2 per cwt) (, April 11), Zekelman said, noting that flat-rolled steel accounts for approximately 65 to 70 percent of the Chicago-based pipe and tube maker’s overall costs. "You can’t make that up on productivity. You can’t make up $100 per ton, or even $20 ton for that matter, because those (conversion) costs are fairly consistent. So if steel goes up, we go up—that’s it."....

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