NEW YORK Primary
stainless steel prices have dropped in line with surcharge
decreases for May, with producers reportedly unable to
establish base price hikes.
Prices for Type 304 coiled plate
now average $1.24 per pound f.o.b. mill, down from $1.27 a
month ago; Type 316 coiled plate is around $1.77 per pound,
down from $1.80; Type 304 cold-rolled sheet has slipped to
around $1.27 per pound from $1.30; and Type 316L is around
$1.79 per pound, down from $1.82.
Market participants told
AMM that prices dropped in roughly the same measure as
surcharge decreases announced by producers last month (
amm.com, April 22).
"The surcharges came down a
little, and thats basically what were seeing in the
prices," said a source at a Midwest distributor.
Several distributor sources
reiterated reports that previously announced base price
increases had not been successfully implemented by the major
amm.com, April 24).
Meanwhile, consumer demand
continues to underwhelm many players in the market, with
several distributors describing demand as "sluggish" or
"The year looked like it was
going to start off a little better than last year, but January
through April, its leveled out," a West Coast distributor
source said. "Some customers are optimistic, but its hard
to tell if theres actually activity out there or
theyre just optimistic. I think theyre still
waiting on the purchase orders."