West Coast buyers of carbon plate are viewing a $30-per-ton
hike by domestic producers with caution as the resale market
has yet to indicate its ready for higher prices.
"Theres still a
lot of cheap plate being quoted out there, and many of our
customers are waiting until the last minute to pull the trigger
on orders," said a distribution executive, who added that
its not clear the market is ready for an increase.
Domestic plate mills
east of the Rockies have announced a $30-per-ton hike effective
July 11. As of late last week, market sources said they
werent aware that the West Coasts only producer of
discrete plate, Portland, Ore.-based Evraz Inc. North America,
had formerly posted a hike, although they were expecting an
Prices on warehouse
grades and sizes of domestic plate before the hike were
estimated at $770 per ton ($38.50 per hundredweight) delivered
to the West Coast. The increase, if successful, would bring the
price up to about $40 per cwt compared with import tags that
early this month were reported at about $36 cwt or less ex-dock
for South Korean plate and even more recently at less than $35
per cwt from Taiwan for shipment in September.
remains one of the strongest market sectors, especially tankage
and refinery maintenance and repair, as well as some new
"Demand is strong and
were struggling to keep up with estimates," said a
fabricator who thinks prices recently bottomed and will head up
shortly. A service center buyer noted that plate is being
bought along all stages of the energy sector, from offshore
rigs to refineries.
restrictions probably affect plate more than any other steel
category, although certain energy companies will accept Korean,
Taiwanese or Japanese product. But some fabricators maintain
its usually simpler to stick with domestic plate unless
an imports price advantage is too great to ignore.