LOS ANGELES The
fate of the latest round of flat-rolled steel price hikes may
be in doubt on the West Coast as one of the regions
two major producers has indicated to some buyers that its
unlikely to implement an increase.
California Steel Industries Inc. (CSI) has recently indicated
to certain customers not to expect a general price hike on
hot-rolled, hot-rolled pickled and oiled, cold-rolled and
galvanized sheet in line with most major producers east of the
Rockies as well as the other major flat-rolled producer in the
West. That producer, Pittsburg, Calif.-based USS-Posco
Industries Inc., earlier told customers it would raise the
price of hot-rolled pickled and oiled, cold-rolled and
galvanized sheet by $20 per ton ($1 per hundredweight),
effective Aug. 7 (
amm.com, Aug. 10).
Buyers said this week
that not only hasnt CSI announced an overall price hike
but certain customers have been told that the company
isnt inclined to boost prices, which have been raised at
least twice over the past few months.
CSI couldnt be
reached for comment.
One buyer, who
wasnt told specifically by CSI that it wont be
raising tags, said hes nevertheless had the impression in
his most recent conversations with mill representatives that
"theyre very concerned about the price level on
hot-rolled coils, viewed as one of the major import factors on
the West Coast, have recently been quoted at $30.50 to $30.75
cwt ex-dock for expected arrival in October or November,
according to market sources. This compares with reported
initial asking prices on domestic hot-rolled of $34 to $35 cwt,
although negotiated prices can be lower.
Some service center
customers who were informed by CSI that it wont be
raising pricesand who agree this is the best
coursealso observed that many of their counterparts are
looking ahead to a period of "seasonal weakness" in the fourth
quarter, when their purchasing will probably slow down.