NEW YORK The
steel sheet market continued to firm this past week on the back
of supply-driven increases and steady demand, sources said.
While the first week
of July is typically quieter due to the Independence Day
Holiday, sources contacted by AMM said that the
tightness in the hot-rolled market would continue for
weeksand even monthsto come.
"The market on the
sales (demand) side is pretty flat, but all the changes are on
the supply side," said one mill source. "The mills are in a
strong position right now, and the way I see it, itll
probably last through October or November. This thing is supply
driven because supply is tight."
hot-rolled band this week at $32 per hundredweight ($640 per
ton), up from $31.50 per cwt ($630 per ton) the previous week.
Others added that mills were pushing smaller tonnages at $32.50
per cwt ($650 per ton), which would match the most recent
published prices by a majority of mills (
amm.com, June 26).
abbreviated holiday schedule, several events transpired this
week that will likely keep momentum high in the sheet market.
Chicago and Detroit scrap prices settled up (
amm.com, July 3) and a long-awaited trade petition was
filed by U.S. producers against imports of oil country tubular
amm.com, July 3).
"Things this week were
okay. There was a bit of a drag because of the holiday," said
one Midwest service center. "But, most of the mills have lead
times into August, and scrap looks on the upside."
Others added that with
steady demand and mills holding firm to higher pricing, the
sheet market looks stronger ahead.
"Automotive is good
and appliances are doing okay," one trader said. "Theres
demand. Is it a boom? Obviously no. There are naysayers, who
believe this thing will be over in 3 weeks. But, right now,
mills arent collapsing prices and theyre getting
orders at their prices. Things are starting to look