LOS ANGELES Discounting
has re-emerged in the structural steel market, with sporadic
reports of wide-flange beams being offered below published mill
Some domestic mills this week
made offers at discounts of as much as $30 per ton to list
prices, market sources said. But such offers have been limited,
and it remains unclear how long the trend will last. However, a
number of buyers insist that they have yet to see offers that
are below list prices.
"This isnt happening
everywhere, and its not from everybody," one buyer said,
but acknowledged that he was offered material at delivered
prices that would indicate a discount of $30 or more to the
published list price.
Most major producers said
earlier this month that they would hold the published f.o.b.
mill price on wide-flange beams at $780 per ton ($39 per
hundredweight) for February, the third month in a row that they
would be at that level (
amm.com, Jan. 22 and
This months discounted
offer is "isolated and not really a big deal," one buyer
"Were being told,
Here is our mill number, but if somebody else is better
can you give us a second look? " a service center
buyer in the Midwest said. However, he noted that he isnt
actively pursuing discounts and that his company continues to
base its resale price off of the published mill number.
Some buyers remain skeptical of
mill suppliers who say that deals arent being made. "They
tell us the price at the mill is flat, yet theres pricing
in the (resale) market that indicates it isnt," a Midwest
distributor added. "You cant sell material today at a
normal markup that you bought at $39 (per cwt) plus
Meanwhile, most buyers said they
havent seen beam demand rise meaningfully this year.
"Theres been no big change
from last year," another Midwest distributor said. Like most of
his counterparts, hes pinning his hopes for a near-term
price increase on rising scrap tags rather than growing
structural steel demand.