Reliance sees trend of rising steel prices

Apr 24, 2014 | 05:30 PM | Michael Cowden

Tags  Reliance Steel & Aluminum, David H. Hannah, Gregg J. Mollins, Karla R. Lewis, steel, steel prices, flat-rolled, earnings report service center

CHICAGO — Steel prices are moving up in the second quarter after swooning midway through the first quarter, according to Reliance Steel & Aluminum Co. executives.

The positive pricing trend, along with slowly improving demand in the long-beleaguered nonresidential construction sector—a big consumer of carbon steel—should bolster the Los Angeles-based service center’s bottom line going forward, they said.

But Reliance executives also noted that the increases come as mills struggle to maintain output while working toward more "discipline" on pricing.

On the sheet front, prices are reversing course in April and May after falling about $40 per ton ($2 per hundredweight) in February and a further $20 per ton ($1 per cwt) in March, Reliance chairman and chief executive officer David H. Hannah said during the Los Angeles-based service center’s first-quarter earnings conference call April 24. ....

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