NEW YORK AK Steel Corp. will increase prices for all 200-, 300- and 400-series flat-rolled stainless products effective Dec. 30.
The hike will be achieved by reducing functional discounts on cold-rolled and hot-rolled products by 4 percentage points and increasing base prices for automotive exhaust grades by 4 cents per pound, according to the West Chester, Ohio-based steelmaker.
It is the first attempted price increase by a domestic mill on the most widely bought flat-rolled stainless grades, 304 and 316, since late February (amm.com, Feb. 29).
All four major domestic mills implemented a price increase on some stainless steel grades in late August and early September (amm.com, Sept. 4).
Market sources said that the most recent move would need support from Ghent, Ky.-based North American Stainless Inc. (NAS)widely considered to be the domestic market leaderin order to stick.
"It really means nothing unless NAS follows," a southern distributor source said.
NAS and other large domestic producersThyssenKrupp Stainless USA LLC, Calvert, Ala.; and ATI Allegheny Ludlum Corp., a subsidiary of Pittsburgh-based Allegheny Technologies Inc.hadnt followed the move Monday.