Stainless steel base price push drawing flak

Jun 30, 2014 | 02:46 PM | Rey Mashayekhi

Tags  stainless base prices, North American Stainless, NAS, ATI, Allegheny Technologies, AK Steel, Outokumpu Stainless USA, stainless steel Metals Service Center Institute

NEW YORK — Domestic stainless mills appear to be pushing to change decade-old published base prices, a sign of market strength, but the move has some distributors up in arms.

The domestic market is on course for its third industrywide base price increase in four months in July. And while prices have risen steadily over the course of the year, the method that mills are employing—increasing alloy material base prices rather than the typical discount reduction—is drawing flak.

"I have mill base price pages dating back to the mid-90s; (there have been) no changes in the past 20 years. This would be a bit of a stretch if all followed, since the market price has been set by discount points the past 30 years," one distributor source said.

"This is not a change of discount," a second distributor source said. "They are actually changing the base price of metal. ... It doesn’t seem like a big deal, (but) it’s a very big deal. It changes the price of metal forever—3 (cents), almost 4 cents (per pound)."....

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