LOS ANGELES Discounts on
structural steel in the form of "foreign fighter" prices,
ostensibly aimed at imports, appear to be picking up in certain
markets, especially on the West Coast.
Earlier this month, domestic
producers cut published beam prices by $20 per ton to $785 per
ton ($39.25 per hundredweight) f.o.b. mill on most core sizes
from $805 per ton ($40.25 per cwt) previously (
amm.com, April 12) following a $22-per-ton cut in
AMMs consumer buying price for shredded
automotive scrap in the Chicago market, a key component in some
mills raw material surcharges.
On the West Coast, however, some
beams have been sold in recent weeks in a range of $780 to $800
per ton ($39 to $40 per cwt) delivered, indicating a discount
of $60 or more on published prices, in some cases, when freight
costs are included.
Theres no indication yet
that South Korea, this years major source of imported
beams, has retreated from its strong first-quarter showing.
April import permit applications for Korean wide-flange beams
totaled 11,112 tonnes through April 23 vs. imports of 7,670
tonnes from Korea in all of March, according to data from the
Commerce Departments Import Administration.
First-quarter imports of Korean
wide-flange beams totaled 40,057 tonnes, greater than any other
country, according to the Import Administration, with most
shipments arriving on the West Coast.
Buyers this past week were
waiting for quotes on Korean beams for delivery in the late
second quarter and early third quarter, which were reported
earlier this year in a range of $720 to $760 per ton ($36 to
$38 per cwt) ex-dock. Russian standard beams, of which
considerably less has arrived on the West Coast this year,
reportedly were below $720 per ton.
pricingor outright price-cuttingis being seen in
other parts of the country. While relatively limited buys to
fill holes in distributors inventories are often
transacted at official book pricing, other purchases that
earlier this year might have taken place at the published level
are now open to price-cutting, market observers said.
"Some people are still buying at
published book (prices)and some arent," a Midwest