NEW YORK JMC Steel Group
Inc. has criticized hollow structural sections (HSS) mills that
raised their prices by only $30 per ton, undercutting a leading
$50-per-ton increase by JMC subsidiary Atlas Tube Inc.
"There is no benefit to the
destructive behavior of some HSS mills," JMC executive chairman
and chief executive officer Barry Zekelman wrote in a June 6
letter to customers. "We will not respond to these mills. Our
price increase announcement remains unchanged at $50 per
The company is maintaining its
price hike as demand for HSS products has been robust this
year, Zekelman wrote. "We believe that the HSS increase is
necessary based on strong demand for HSS products. Total HSS
products shipments in 2012 were one of the highest levels in
the last 10 years, and 2013 shipments are running ahead of
Chicago-based JMC also believes
that the coil market will strengthen, lending support to the
"We believe that the hot-rolled
coil market will continue to strengthen as buyers replenish
their inventories in a market that has less capacity available.
The increases for hot-rolled coil are important to the
long-term health of all members of the supply chain from the
primary mills through service centers," Zekelman wrote.
Hot-rolled sheet prices rose to
$590 per ton ($29.50 per cwt) from $560 per ton ($28 per cwt)
in late May as a result of extended lead times on certain
products, labor issues and mills unified front on a
recent price hike (
amm.com, June 6).
Atlas launched its $50-per-ton
hike June 3 and at least six other mills followed June 4 before
Hoover, Ala.-based Hanna Steel Corp. and Birmingham, Ala.-based
Southland Tube Inc. raised prices by just $30 per ton June 5
amm.com, June 5).
Southland Tube said at the time
that its increase was "based upon a thorough evaluation of the
strengthening hot-rolled coil market," but also noted that
customers "will be advised accordingly" in the event that
"additional increases become necessary."
Southland and Hanna could not be
reached for further comment.