LOS ANGELES West Coast structural steel tubing producers
appear to be achieving at least partial success in scratching
out a price hike amid slow demand that leaves room for
occasional discounting by tonnage-hungry mills.
Core sizes of A500 Grade B hollow structural sections are
increasingly being sold at $960 to $980 per ton ($48 to $49 per
cwt) in the Los Angeles market, sources report.
While this is about $20 per ton ($1 per cwt) greater than an
earlier nominal level of $940 to $960 per ton ($47 to $48 per
cwt), it nevertheless represents a larger hike from prices that
fell as low as $920 per ton ($46 per cwt) in early November.
Local mills $40-per-ton hikes, due to rising costs, were
slated to go into effect beginning with orders ranging from
Nov. 12 to Nov. 19 and affecting shipments through various
dates, depending on the mill (
amm.com, Nov. 20
). Market sources said some of
those shipment deadlines stretched into this week.
Everyone wants this increase to catch on, including
us, a distributor said. But a number of sources
acknowledged that the current level of demand is so low that
few requirements are large enough to seriously challenge the
mills resolve to cement the increase.
While some industry sources insist that very few mills
are blinking, market sources maintain that the increase
is less than complete, with material still being offered at
prices close to the previous, lower market levels.
While buyers await a new round of offers from this
regions main offshore tubing source, South Korea, import
buying is reportedly constrained, with material at sharp
discounts to domestic prices.
Tubing currently being shipped from South Korea was reportedly
sold as low as $760 to $780 per ton ($38 to $39 per cwt)
earlier in the year. But some buyers said that lately it
hasnt been unusual to learn that certain sizes they had
ordered are unavailable for shipment.