LOS ANGELES A third major wide-flange beam producer has told customers it will hold published prices steady for February as imports from at least one offshore source appear ready to jump this month.
Steel Dynamics Inc.s Columbia City, Ind.-based structural and rail division told customers this week that its transaction prices will "remain unchanged for all new wide-flange beam and channel orders" in February, joining Nucor-Yamato Steel Co., Blytheville, Ark., and Nucor Corp.s Berkeley, S.C., beam mill in holding published transaction prices steady for the third month in a row (amm.com, Jan. 11).
Gerdau Long Steel North America, the only other major producer, has not announced its February pricing. The Tampa, Fla.-based company could not be reached for comment.
SDIs decision to keep its prices flat in February would leave the f.o.b. mill price for most core sizes of beams at $780 per ton ($39 per hundredweight) in February, in line with Nucor-Yamato and Nucor Berkeley.
SDI added that its February truck fuel surcharge will be 30 percent, and the company will adjust its rate in the coming months "to reflect current charges from our carriers."
Meanwhile, import license applications for South Korean wide-flange beams jumped to 11,298 tonnes in the first two weeks of Januarymore than 90 percent of all license applications through Jan. 15, according to data from the Commerce Departments Import Administration. Imports from Korea totaled just 237 tonnes in all of December.
If Korean shipments in the first quarter follow the same pattern set in the fourth quarter of 2012, wide-flange beam imports can be expected to decline in February and March. Some 10,065 tonnes of Korean beams arrived in the United States in October, representing the vast bulk of its shipments in the final three months of the year.
Import permit applications for standard beams through Jan. 15 do not yet indicate any such increase, with a total of 2,455 tonnes expected to arrive from all countries vs. approximately 5,372 tonnes in all of December.