NEW YORK Hollow
structural sections (HSS) demand and pricing are mostly flat,
with recent increases holding for spot purchases, market
sources told AMM.
"Demand is not deteriorating nor
improving; its just flatlining. Its like a very
calm lake. There are no ripples in it," one Mid-Atlantic
"The demand is there.
(It)s not strong, but its steady. Its just
fine. Prices are holding for the interim," one mill source
Spot buys are being made around
AMMs benchmark of $920 per ton ($46 per
hundredweight), sources said, with most mills sticking to a
recent price increase of $30 per ton ($1.50 per cwt), although
discounts reportedly are available for larger orders.
"Were being told by
suppliers that theyre holding steady with their prices,
though with coil moving slightly downwards I suspect that if
anyone had a large quantity they could get a discount," the
Mid-Atlantic distributor said.
While discounts might be
available, few sources reported making large purchases as they
are uncertain what the future holds. "Nobodys brave
enough to jump out there and make the big buy," a second mill
While sources said forecasting
was particularly difficult in a year that hasnt seen
typical seasonal patterns, expectations are for somewhat softer
business conditions in the near term due to falling coil prices
and typically slower demand over the summer.
"The lead times (in flat-rolled
steel) seem to still be real short. Thats kind of the
telltale sign of whats going to happen," the second mill
source said, adding that he wasnt "expecting any
increases anytime soon" in HSS as a result.
"Im hearing not-so-great
news about the summer, so maybe well see some price
(erosion) just a little bit," the first mill source said.