PITTSBURGH Two major
mills have raised concrete reinforcing bar prices by $20 per
ton ($1 per hundredweight), in effect canceling price cuts they
announced just weeks ago.
Jackson, Miss.-based Nucor Steel
Jackson Inc., part of Charlotte, N.C.-based Nucor Corp.,
announced its move after the market closed Friday. Tampa,
Fla.-based Gerdau Long Steel North America followed
Nucors lead and matched the price increase Monday
morning. In both cases, all orders on the books due to ship by
Aug. 31 will be price-protected.
Nucor and Gerdau had lowered
prices by an identical $20 per ton in mid-July (
amm.com, July 17).
"Rebar mills have given back $50
a ton over the past few months, and they want the prices back,"
a source at an Ohio-based distributor said. "Everyone is in a
panic, and my phone has been ringing since Saturday because
guys didnt see this coming."
Neither mill made mention of
scrap prices in its letter, but scrap sources indicate that
mills are already paying up $40 to $50 per gross ton for
shredded scrap, which is a key ingredient in the long
The abrupt reversal caught the
industry by surprise. "I knew it was going up and have been
laying it down, but I had planned to buy heavy this week," a
southeastern distributor source said.
A source at a Northeast
distributor said that he hadnt been stockpiling rebar as
demand has been weak. "There is so little demand that we have
to wonder at what point demand will come into play," he said.
"None of my customers are buying more than they need, and we
have to react accordingly."
A Gerdau representative said the
company would not comment on pricing matters, while a Nucor
spokesman could not be reached for comment.