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Steel Dynamics joins beam price hike

Keywords: Tags  steel, structurals, beams, SDI, Nucor-Yamato, Nucor-Berkeley, Gerdau, Frank Haflich

LOS ANGELES — Steel Dynamics Inc. (SDI) has joined a recent price hike on structural products, making the increase unanimous among major producers, while also warning that a cutoff in certain orders out of floor stock may be imminent.

SDI’s Columbia City, Ind.-based structural and rail division informed customers this week that, effective with shipments Dec. 1, it will raise wide-flange beams and channel products by $35 per ton ($1.75 per hundredweight), boosting core sizes of wide-flange beams to $780 per ton ($39 per cwt).

The hike follows similar increases by Nucor-Yamato Steel Co., Blytheville, Ark., and Nucor Corp.’s Berkeley, S.C., beam mill. Additionally, Tampa, Fla.-based Gerdau Long Steel North America said last week that its $35-per-ton increase was effective on all new orders, although existing orders shipped before Dec. 1 would be "price-protected" (, Nov. 12).

While a number of buyers in recent weeks were reportedly ordering beams from mill inventories—in particular for shipment before Dec. 1, at the pre-increase price of $37.25 per cwt ($745 per ton)—Fort Wayne, Ind.-based SDI told customers that option might not be available for long.

"Please be aware that we may suspend ‘stock sales’ with a promise delivery date in November at any moment due to available shipping time limitations," SDI said in a letter to customers.

"They’re telling us to get our orders in right away or we may be out of luck getting material at the old price," said one distributor, who said it’s his impression that SDI’s orders have temporarily spiked to a point greater than its ability to ship before Dec. 1.

Amid a reported increase in mill orders, market sources reported few indications that consumption is actually rising.

Moreover, imports aren’t seen as a significant alternative for most buyers. Russian beams have reportedly been offered for January-February shipment to the Gulf Coast at approximately $37 per cwt ($740 per ton), although that price wasn’t an especially attractive one as buyers still aren’t convinced that domestic prices won’t fall in the coming months.

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