NEW YORK Key
West Coast tubing producers continue to hold back from joining
a price hike, but some buyers think rising coil prices could
trigger an increase despite a weak market.
Tubing mills east of
the Rockies have already announced hikes of $30 per ton, scaled
back from an initial $50 per ton, but California tubers balked
at joining their counterparts in the East and Midwest as a
lagging construction-dependant market has failed so far to show
convincing signs of improvement.
Prices on core sizes
of A500 grade B hollow structural sections delivered in the Los
Angeles market are nominally in a range of $940 to $960 per ton
($47 to $48 per hundredweight).
Tags have been
softening in the past month, however, with discounts of $1 per
cwt increasingly being reported by various market sources, even
on truckload buys of around 20 tons, as demand continued to
recent moves by western flat-rolled producers to raise the
price of tubing mills coil feedstock are successful,
tubers might decide they have no other choice than to attempt
an increase of their own.
"A portion of any coil
hike has to be translated into a tubing increase, but up to
this point Ive yet to see it reflected in tubing prices,"
one market source said about the pressure of rising coil costs.
"And with the slow summer season starting for tubing, it
doesnt look promising."
Despite these doubts,
some people believe that, depending on how much of a price hike
coil producers are able to push through, California tubers
could begin announcing hikes by the upcoming July 4
Two western tubing
mills that often move prior to California producers have
already said theyre implementing hikes. American Tubular
Products LLC, the Lindon, Utah, division of Schaeffer
Industries Inc., announced a $30-per-ton hike effective with
June 14 orders, and market sources said that the Portland,
Ore., structural tubing facility of Evraz Inc. North America
also had indicated an increase to customers, although the
specific amount couldnt be learned. An Evraz spokeswoman
declined to comment on pricing.