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Steel plate prices in holding pattern

Keywords: Tags  steel plate, plate prices, carbon plate, steel, plate, Midwest, Catherine Ngai

NEW YORK — Steel plate prices remained stable this past week on the back of continued buyer hesitancy, sources told AMM.

Service center sources reported a slight uptick in inquiries in recent days from end-use consumers, but that renewed interest has not translated into a pickup in sales for most distributors, sources said.

"A lot of people are pricing things out right now, and they’re asking for quotes. No one is quite sure how the market is doing, but there are still a lot of things out there overhanging—austerity in the banking system, bailouts in Europe, sequestration," one Midwest service center said.

"Demand isn’t real strong out there, and I think if you want to place an order, there is definite room to negotiate," he added.

A second Midwest plate buyer said his booking activity has seen a slight uptick this past week, although he said demand is still not anything to write home about.

"We’re making some good bookings, but demand isn’t all there," the second Midwest buyer said.

For the week of July 28, plate prices softened to $36 per hundredweight ($720 per ton) f.o.b. Midwest mill (, Feb. 1), and some say negotiations are still possible as a result of the oversupply situation.

"Nothing has changed all that much on the plate side, and nothing major is going on," a third Midwest buyer said. "I know a lot of the mills still have inventory on the ground."

Meanwhile, buyers maintain that imports have had minimal impact in the Northeast and Midwest markets due to similar prices and a hesitancy to book forward.

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