No summer doldrums for flat steels: Longhi

Jul 30, 2014 | 05:34 PM | Michael Cowden

Tags  U.S. Steel, Mario Longhi, flat-rolled steel, hot-rolled coil, Great Lakes Works, steel prices, lead times, steel Michael Cowden

CHICAGO — The North American flat-rolled steel market has escaped the "summer doldrums" and remains on solid footing despite increased imports, U.S. Steel’s top executive said.

This is due in part to strong automotive build rates, which have not slowed as much as they typically would in the summer months for model year changeovers, U.S. Steel Corp. president and chief executive officer Mario Longhi said during an earnings call with analysts July 30.

Construction demand and orders are also improving. As a result, U.S. and Canadian service centers have been shipping orders out at a higher rate year on year even as inventories remain at below-normal levels. Prices have also "held up pretty well," he said, noting that mill lead times for hot-rolled coil are "fairly stable" at four to five weeks for most of the quarter.....

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