NEW YORK At
least three domestic hollow structural sections (HSS) mills are
attempting to raise prices another $30 per ton, the third hike
on the product from mills east of the Rockies over the past two
Sources said Atlas
Tube Inc., a subsidiary of Chicago-based JMC Steel Group Inc.,
led the recent hike with a $30-per-ton increase effective July
17. Orders already on Atlas books are price protected
through Aug. 16, sources said.
A company spokesman
declined to comment.
Independence Tube Corp. followed the $30-per-ton move,
according to sources, as did Welded Tube of Canada Ltd.,
Concord, Ontario, with increases effective July 18.
increase is applicable to HSS and mechanical tubing, and
shipments through Aug. 16 are price protected, according to a
letter sent to customers.
Shipments to customers
north of the border are increasing by Canadian $50 per ton
($48.20 per ton) due to raw material and currency moves,
AMM has been told.
said to be price protecting shipments through Aug. 16,
couldnt be reached for comment.
Eastern HSS mills
launched two increases last month, at $50 per ton (
amm.com, June 4) and $40 per ton (
amm.com, June 27).
Western HSS mills also
hiked prices recently (
amm.com, July 17).
distributors carbon tube and pipe shipments totaled
222,600 tons in June, down 8.2 percent from the same month last
year, according to Metals Service Center Institute (MSCI)
Shipments for the
first half totaled 1.39 million tons, down 4.3 percent from the
same 2012 period.
One mill source
admitted that the price increases have been largely supply-side
driven, while distributor demand remains "hand to mouth" in
light of tepid markets and rising prices. "Were seeing
(that) its all supply-side, not demand driven," he
distributors inventories at the end of June were
equivalent to 3 months supply, up from the previous
months 2.8 months.
The latest HSS
increase comes also as flat-rolled mills are said to be
sticking to their guns on recently announced hikes.
"The steel mills are
driving this. Theyre not flinching at this point," the
mill source said.
However, a Midwest
distributor said there was some concern about flat-rolled
pricing strength as AK Steel Corp., West Chester, Ohio,
reportedly was starting up its Middletown, Pa., blast furnace
July 18 (
amm.com, July 10) and Pittsburgh-based U.S. Steel
Corp. and local unions at its Lake Erie Works in Nanticoke,
Ontario, have taken steps toward a possible labor deal (
amm.com, July 10).
"They (HSS mills) are
trying to get the price up, so when it falls off itll
fall from a higher number," he said.
Shipments of carbon
tube and pipe by Canadian distributors totaled 326,600 tons for
the first half of 2013, down 11.4 percent from the same period
distributors inventories at the end of last month were
equivalent to 2.4 months supply, up from 2.3 months in
May prior, according to MSCI.