NEW YORK Wire
rod prices have risen at least $10 per ton for most grades for
August shipment following an increase in July scrap prices,
with rod mills passing much of their higher input costs on to
Rod buyers whose
prices are fixed to a scrap cost index swallowed the full
increase in scrap prices. Chicago buying prices for shredded
automotive scrap, the raw material input used for lower-carbon
grades of wire rod, rose $16 per ton in July (
amm.com, July 3).
"Whatever that scrap
number was, my prices have fluctuated directly with Chicago
shredded scrap," a wire rod buyer in the South said.
Rod buyers whose
prices are tied to a three- or five-city scrap price average
saw a similar increase, sources said, although some
lower-carbon buyers said they were paying only part of the
Most rod buyers
reported a slowdown in business in July, with heavy rain on the
East Coast slowing construction projects and tepid downstream
demand slowing business on the industrial side.
"The rain has killed
us," the wire rod buyer in the South said. "If you look at a
precipitation map month by month east of the Mississippi, there
has been heavy precipitation from the beginning of the year all
the way through today. Its like a rainforest down here.
... And you dont work when its wet in construction."
our head above water," a Midwest rod buyer said. "Were
not setting any records here. July was a little off from
The market is
maintaining a "status quo" during the sluggish summer months, a
mill source said. "If you fell asleep a month ago and then woke
up, nothing would be different."
Wire mesh-quality rod
is around $650 per ton ($32.50 per hundredweight) f.o.b. mill,
industrial-quality wire rod is $660 per ton ($33 per cwt),
high-carbon wire rod is around $715 per ton ($35.75 per cwt)
and cold-heading quality is $755 per ton ($37.75 per cwt).