LOS ANGELES West Coast producers of structural steel
tubing have finally moved to boost prices due to the rising
cost of coil feedstock.
West Coast tube makersand the regional depot of at least
one Midwestern millbegan telling customers last week they
are raising their prices $40 per ton ($2 per hundredweight),
according to market sources. The increases were effective
beginning with orders ranging from Nov. 12 to Nov. 19 and
include product being shipped at various dates, depending on
I hope this is a good sign, said one service center
buyer who, like other distributors, is rooting for the first
hike since mid-August to take hold (
amm.com, Aug. 28
The West Coast hike comes as mills east of the Rockies embark
on their second round of increasesthough the success of
the initial increase is still not clear.
If fully implemented, the West Coast increase would bring the
day-to-day price for truckload orders of about 20 tons for core
sizes of A500 Grade B hollow structural sections in the Los
Angeles market to $49 to $50 per cwt ($980 to $1,000 per ton)
from a previous $47 to $48 per cwt ($940 to $960 per ton),
although deals were routinely being made with larger buyers at
a reported $46 per cwt ($920 per ton).
Mills in the West are generally slower to post increases than
those in the East and Midwest, where attempts at higher prices
tend to quickly follow price hike announcements by their coil
But indications that Western producers feedstock costs
are going up as recent coil price hikes take hold could stiffen
the resolve of local mills to maintain higher tubing tags.
Were 100 percent behind this, but were also
keeping an eye on our competitors, one mill source said
of the increase, emphasizing that while his company remains
wary of price-cutting by its rivals, it wont throw in the
towel if it sees just one or two discounted deals in the
Most sources in the region agree that the main support for any
price hike has to come from the feedstock side, because few see
signs of improvement in construction, the primary market for
The glass is still half-empty in terms of tubing
demand, a market source said.
While South Korean tubing had been offered for February arrival
in the vicinity of $40 per cwt ($800 per ton), market sources
questioned just how many orders have been confirmed at this
price, noting that in the past, confirmation has often been
held back when it appeared domestic prices were rising.