NEW YORK Structural steel
prices are moving up, but wide-flange beam buyers continued to
order material this week at price levels seen before recently
"Im still able to buy at
the old price" of $745 per ton ($37.25 per hundredweight) on
core sizes, one distributor said this week, citing short lead
times that allow him to order material shipped by Nov. 30.
One reason transactions were
continuing to take place at the previous price level rather
than the new tag of $39 per cwt ($780 per ton) f.o.b. mill is
what market sources described as an unusually large amount of
floor stock being held by mills, although most buyers conceded
that, as the end of November nears, theyll be paying the
"I will pay the $39 (per cwt) as
I need to," said a buyer for a large service center chain
thats in the midst of its traditional year-end inventory
reduction. "I wont put any more stock on the floor in
Last week, Nucor-Yamato Steel
Co., Blytheville, Ark., and Nucor Corp.s beam mill in
Berkeley, S.C., announced hikes of $35 per ton effective Dec.
1. Tampa, Fla.-based Gerdau Long Steel North America followed,
saying its $35-per-ton increase was effective "immediately" on
new orders, although existing orders shipped before Dec. 1
would be "price-protected" (
amm.com, Nov. 12).
However, it was unclear just how
successful Gerdau has been in maintaining its policy of
implementing price changes on an immediate basis in the face of
other producers intention of not going up until next
The remaining major domestic
beam mill, the structural and rail division of Steel Dynamics
Inc. (SDI), hasnt changed prices on its website and
hasnt formally informed customers of a hike, according to
But buyers said theyve
been told informally by SDI representatives that the Columbia
City, Ind., structural mill intends to increase prices along
with the others. Moreover, beams due to be shipped by SDI after
Nov. 30 have already been booked at the higher price, according
to market reports.
A spokeswoman for the Fort
Wayne, Ind.-based steelmaker declined to comment.