NEW YORK Minimum prices under the Russian hot-rolled steel suspension agreement will fall 3 percent across the board in the first quarter of 2013.
Under new reference prices, effective Jan. 1 through March 31, commercial- and structural-quality steel will fall to $583.80 per tonne from $601.75 per tonne in the period from Nov. 30 to Dec. 31; high-strength low-alloy steel will fall to $642.17 per tonne from $661.92 per tonne; and high-grade coil and sheet for pipe and casing will fall to $747.26 per tonne from $770.24 per tonne, according to data released Wednesday by the U.S. Commerce Department.
The deal was amended earlier this month after the Commerce Departments International Trade Administration determined that the original agreement, which dates back to 1999, was no longer able to prevent price undercutting (amm.com, Dec. 3).
Traders have said it will be difficult to sell Russian steel in the United States because of the lack of price spread between domestic and imported material. However, lower prices could lead to sales moving forward, depending on domestic mills success in keeping tags up after their most recent set of price hikes.
No Russian hot-rolled sheet or plate in coils arrived at U.S. ports from Dec. 1 through Dec. 11, according to license data from Commerce Departments Import Administration. In contrast, 93.6 tonnes of hot-rolled sheet and 1,053 tonnes of plate in coils arrived in November.