NEW YORK The
concrete reinforcing bar market continues to experience
regional spottiness and lukewarm demand, with market
participants hoping to see higher prices next month to breathe
some life into the market.
"Demand is just
so-so," a mill source said. "Theres not much work."
With business slow for
many market players, firms are working hard to chase down
"Things are very, very
slow. Weve got a reasonable backlog, but were
living off it. Its very difficult to add to it. The
Midwest is pretty dismal," said a rebar buyer in that region of
the country. "People get desperate for cash to pay their bills,
so the bidding process becomes a little uglier than
Grade 60 No. 5 rebar
prices retreated in April and May from a February high of about
$690 per ton ($34.50 per hundredweight) but appear to have slid
along the bottom since settling last month at around $645 per
ton ($32.25 per cwt), with prices varying based on region and
Sources said they
expect prices to rise next month, with news that shredded
automotive scrap prices have settled up around $16 in Chicago,
and $25 in Detroit. With rebar prices set to gain ground in
August, sources said they expected more transactions and an
uptick in business.
"Right now, Im
buying. Im stocking up a little because I know this is
coming. Im starting to set extra railcars because
Im buying," said a rebar distributor in the Midwest.
Raising prices is "the
right thing to do. If theres nothing different about
supply and demand, and if input changes, than transaction
prices have to change," the mill source said.