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Steel wire rod sales ease on slow holiday week

Keywords: Tags  steel, wire rod pricing, tepid market, mesh quality low carbon wire, industrial-quality low carbon wire, high-carbon wire rod, cold-heading wire rod, ferrous scrap Samuel Frizell

Domestic steel wire rod prices have held steady for the past two weeks, with mills and buyers reporting tepid market conditions and a slowdown during the July 4 holiday week.

AMM’s price for mesh-quality low-carbon wire rod held at $640 per ton ($32 per hundredweight) f.o.b. mill, while industrial-quality low-carbon rod is transacting at $650 per ton ($32.50 per cwt). High-carbon wire rod is $700 per ton ($35 per cwt), and cold-heading-quality material is $740 per ton ($37 per cwt).

Last month wire rod prices dropped by around $10 per ton ($0.50 per cwt), roughly in tandem with falling scrap prices (, June 21).

"Scrap has been down, so rod pricing has come down," said a Midwest wire rod consumer, who said prices have stayed even for the past few weeks.

Wire rod buyers selling into the construction markets saw a slower-than-expected start to the year due to poor weather and are now racing to catch up.

"June was strong," said a wire rod buyer in the South. "We’re hoping to recover everything we didn’t get in the rainy spring and wet winter, but we’re not quite getting back what we lost."

Despite some automakers’ plans to stay open all summer or shorten shutdowns (, May 28), mills reported a slight summer slowdown in orders, particularly due to the July 4 holiday.

"With July 4 falling on a Thursday and Friday ruled out for any activity, things are slow," said a mill source.

"Demand has softened a little bit. Probably we’re kind of seeing a little bit of a summer slowdown," said a wire rod buyer in the South.

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