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HSS mills largely sticking to latest price hike

Keywords: Tags  HSS, hollow structural sections, MSCI, Metals Service Center Institute, pipe and tube, Thorsten Schier

NEW YORK — Hollow structural sections (HSS) mills east of the Rockies are largely sticking to recently announced price hikes, although discounts for larger orders are possible, market sources told AMM.

"Let’s say if there’s an attractive package, they will deviate," a Midwest service center source said, but added that mills are sticking to the increases for spot purchases.

Flat-rolled mills also are holding to their recently announced hikes—AMM’s benchmark price for hot-rolled sheet held at $33 per hundredweight ($660 per ton) this past week—driving up substrate costs. "Flat-rolled guys seem to be holding firm. We haven’t been offered any deals," a southern mill source said.

HSS prices are steady at around $940 per ton ($47 per cwt) for now, with sources reporting little buying activity since the most recent increase took hold, although offers are now reported as high as $970 per ton ($48.50 per cwt).

Mills price-protected orders already on the books from the latest $30-per-ton HSS hike until Aug. 16 (, July 18).

Demand was briefly buoyed by the announcements of the price increases starting in early July, sources said, although buyers have now scaled back. "I bought some before and am just replacing where I need to now," the Midwest source said.

Sources said July was steady to up, with some reporting it being better than in previous years. "A lot of people had good months in July," the southern mill source said.

U.S. distributors’ carbon pipe and tube shipments totaled 232,500 tons in July, up 3.3 percent from 225,000 tons in the same month last year, while inventories fell 3.9 percent to 681,700 tons (2.9 months’ supply) from 709,400 tons (3.2 months’ supply), according to Metals Service Center Institute data.

Canadian distributors shipped 49,900 tons of pipe and tube in July, down 7.3 percent from 53,800 tons a year earlier, while inventories dipped 5.4 percent to 130,300 tons (2.6 months’ supply) from 137,700 tons (2.6 months’ supply).

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