DEARBORN, Mich. U.S.
flat-rolled sheet tags have started to slide, steel market
The baseline hot-rolled sheet
transaction price was predominantly reported at $33.75 per
hundredweight ($675 per ton) this week, down from $34.50 per
cwt ($690 per ton) previously, as buyers found material readily
available amid short lead times, high mill capacity and steady
demand, sources told AMM.
"Its the same story that
theres plenty of capacity, plenty of supply and demand
remains strong," one Midwest service center source said.
Sources also cited a flat scrap
market (AMM, May 3) and anticipation of a summer lull
as contributing factors.
"Lead times are short and
were heading into a slow part of the year.
. . . Were sensing that (prices are) coming
off. Its reflective of the late spring-early summer lull
where automotive shutdowns are just around the corner, and
people have already bought their May and a good chunk of their
June (material), so they can play the waiting game," a second
Midwest service center source said.
"The industry (is) running in
the upper-70-percent (capacity) range. I think there is a
little too much being made," one mill source said.
Whether the slide will continue
is unclear, sources said.
"Well just continue to buy
as we need. . . . "When things start to slide and
people dont start buying, itll slide even further,"
the second service center source said.
"Theres no real good
reason for it to get worse, because consumption is not getting
worse," the mill source added.
Anne Riley, New York,
contributed to this article.