NEW YORK The merchant bar
market has been stable in the past week as mills generally
stuck to published prices, although discounts were sometimes
available based on requested sizes, quantities, mill stock
levels and expectations about scrap prices, according to most
"I dont care what
youre buying in the steel market now; the mills are
trying to stay as much as possible to the published prices," a
Mid-Atlantic distributor source said. "But there are deals to
be had. Its on a mill-by-mill basis and its on a
size-by-size basis. If theyve got stock on the floor and
they see scrap going down, they might want to get rid of
However, mills are "doing
whatever they can to stay away from those special deals," he
said. "No one wants to deteriorate market pricing, but it is
what it is."
Prices remained unchanged this
past week at $753 per ton ($37.65 per cwt) for 2 x 2 x
¼-inch angles, $762 per ton ($38.10 per cwt) for 3 x 3 x
¼-inch angles, $747 per ton ($37.35 per cwt) for 8- x
11.5-inch channels and $757 per ton ($37.85 per cwt) for
½- x 4-inch flats as most large mills held their
published prices steady for the month.
Demand levels were said to be
largely unchanged since AMMs last survey,
although there was some mention of a summer slowdown.
"There are people that think
its slowing down," one mill source said. "I dont
necessarily agree with that."
Market participants were divided
on whether a recent move away from monthly raw material
surcharges by some mills would prove beneficial (
amm.com, June 7).
"Hopefully the mills will step
away from the raw material surcharge because of the
volatility," an East Coast distributor said. "You dont
know whether to bring material in or whether you might get hurt
when you bring material in."
"(The movement in scrap prices)
flows through (to the price of steel) no matter what they call
it," the mill source said. "The scrap surcharge mechanism has
worked very well. Its been a reasonable approach." A move
away from surcharges could make the market less transparent for
customers, he added.