NEW YORK Rebar market participants reported an uptick in activity in advance of expected price increases at the mills with a substantial markup in scrap tags driving the market out of its winter slumber.
"Phones are busy this morning now that the numbers are up," one rebar distributor said. "For me, this is Christmas come early."
AMMs consumer buying price for shredded automotive scrap in Chicago settled $35 per gross ton higher this past week (amm.com, March 7). With most mills raw material surcharges for rebar based on that price, several market participants told AMM that they expect rebar prices to increase at least $20 per ton.
"It needs to go up," one rebar fabricator said. "But I think its going to be a feeling-out process to see whether its going to hold."
Rebar trading activity was up this past week, and several market participants in the Midwest reported a surge in orders as customers tried to secure deals ahead of the scrap uptick.
"Everyones hearing the same thing, and theyre getting antsy from an ordering standpoint," the distributor said. "The scramble is on to beat the increase. ... They want to bite the bullet and order."
There has been little change in the rebar market for several months, and sources welcomed the thawing as activity heats up.
"If, all of a sudden, we have a $20 increase and our inventory goes up by $20 a ton, thats a good thing," a second rebar fabricator said. "We all like to see it going up. And were keeping our fingers crossed."