NEW YORK Nucor Corp.
announced a price increase of $40 per ton ($2 per
hundredweight) on wire rod following an uptick in scrap prices
last week, but it remains unclear how much of the change will
stick, market sources said.
The company hiked rod prices
effective with April 1 shipments, according to letters to
customers dated March 8 and 11. It was the first announced
increase in rod prices since November.
"Theyre going to give it a
go this week, but its too early to tell," one rod buyer
The move came just a few days
after scrap transactions in Chicago settled up across the
board, with AMMs consumer buying price for
shredded auto scrapan industry benchmark for rod
pricesrising $35 per ton (
amm.com, March 7). The wire rod hike outpaced the
shredded scrap increase by $5 per ton.
"The mills think that demands
will support this pricing and are going to be very bullish
because of pent-up demand," a second rod buyer said.
Market sources said its
too early to tell whether the new prices will hold.
"I think youll see these
increases stick eventually," a source at one rod distributor
said. "It may take some time, but it seems like raw material
costs and fuel costs are going up as well. It would be nice to
see a little more demand, which would make it easier for the
mills to hold firm."
Another rod buyer disagreed.
"(Its) questionable. I am guessing no, but we
should have a better feel for it over the next week," he
Charlotte, N.C.-based Nucor also
announced that it was raising its surcharge on special bar
quality products by $43 per ton ($2.15 per cwt) effective April
1, hand-in-hand with a $43-per-ton increase in
AMMs consumer buying price for No. 1 busheling
amm.com, March 12).
There was no indication late
March 12 as to whether other mills would follow
Nucors lead on wire rod, but sources said that other
producers likely will announce rod price hikes.
"I think youll see others
will come around with something identical," a third rod buyer