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Atlas leads $40-per-ton HSS increase

Keywords: Tags  Atlas Tube Inc., HSS, hollow structural sections, mechanical tube, price increase, Welded Tube of Canada, Ltd., Southland Tube Inc. Maruichi Leavitt Pipe & Tube

NEW YORK — Atlas Tube Inc., a subsidiary of Chicago-based JMC Steel Group Inc., has launched a $40-per-ton price increase for hollow structural sections (HSS) effective June 26.

The increase applies to all HSS shapes—squares and equivalent rectangles through 12-inches square, as well as all HSS rounds with an outside diameter of up to 20 inches—with shipments already on the books price-protected through July 26, according to a letter sent to customers.

Atlas’ leading move follows a $50-per-ton hike on the same products launched by Atlas earlier this month (, June 4).

The push by Atlas was followed June 27 by at least five other mills—Welded Tube of Canada Ltd., Concord, Ontario; Southland Tube Inc., Birmingham, Ala.; Maruichi Leavitt Pipe & Tube LLC, Chicago; Hanna Steel Corp., Hoover, Ala.; and American Tube Manufacturing Inc., Birmingham, Ala.

Welded Tube’s increase applies to HSS and mechanical tube products, while Maruichi Leavitt said its hike is applicable to all products and size ranges. Hanna’s hike is also applicable to all of its tubular products.

Existing orders for Southland and Welded Tube customers are price-protected through July 27, the companies said in letters to customers, while Maruichi Leavitt, Hanna and American Tube followed Atlas’ lead in announcing price-protection through July 26, according to letters sent to customers.

The latest HSS increase comes in the wake of a third flat-rolled steel hike by domestic mills (, June 26), which came on the heels of a mechanical failure at West Chester, Ohio-based AK Steel Corp.’s Middletown, Ohio, blast furnace (, June 24).

"We will continue to closely monitor the strengthening hot-rolled coil market and will advise you in the event that additional increases become necessary," Southland said in its letter.

The last time tube mills announced price hikes, a handful chose to lift tags by less than the others, stirring doubt as to the viability of the increase (, June 5). But sources expressed more confidence in this latest HSS hike, with both mills that had dissented from the previous hike, Southland and Hanna, immediately following the full increase.

"This or part of it will stick now," a Mid-Atlantic distributor told AMM. "This increase is based on reality and not wishful thinking. (The) AK outage will definitely impact coil price."

Buying sources had not reported paying the previous increase yet, leaving AMM’s benchmark price for HSS unchanged at $900 per ton this month, though some mill sources had reported earlier this week that they were starting to capture at least a portion of the previous hike.

"We’ve gotten some orders with the (early June) increase on it," one mill source said.

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