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Rebar prices flat but increases expected

Keywords: Tags  concrete reinforcing bar, rebar, Nucor Corp., construction, prices, Grade 60 no. 5, Samuel Frizell

NEW YORK — The rebar market is in a lull coming off the Independence Day weekend, with mill prices flat and activity mostly quiet, though some sources said they expect a pricing increase before the end of the month.

"We have slowed down some. We’re working through our backlog faster than we’re replacing it," said a Midwest rebar buyer.

The mills are still selling Grade 60 No. 5 rebar at about $645 per ton ($32.25 per hundredweight) f.o.b. mill, roughly on par with prices throughout June and July. Nucor recently announced it is holding net transaction prices flat in July (, July 1) despite an increase in shredded automotive scrap prices.

Some sources said they were expecting an increase in prices later this summer, however.

"I’m thinking they might wait until (July) 31," to raise prices, said a second rebar buyer in the Midwest. "They might just say screw it and wait until the last possible second. I think they’re going to hold their ground until the end of the month."

The first buyer agreed, forecasting an August 1 increase. "I’m anticipating that they are going to raise their prices August 1; that would be my guess. Somehow, it wouldn’t surprise me if (prices changed) before the week is out. I’m thinking $15 to $20 margins," he said.

Demand has been soft, with heavy rain discouraging construction and slowing down rebar purchases, sources said. The summer has also brought a lull in activity as companies take vacations and ease purchases, weighing down an already tepid market.

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