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Rebar prices seen flat until September

Keywords: Tags  Reinforcing bar, rebar, steel mills, rebar prices, shredded automotive scrap, raw material surcharge, Samuel Frizell

NEW YORK — Rebar prices, which have been stagnant for the past three months, are unlikely to change before September, market participants said.

"I’d love to see something happen so the value of my inventory goes up, but right now I haven’t seen anything to substantiate it," said a source at a rebar distributor. "There’s still the rumor that something might happen Friday night before Labor Day weekend, but unless scrap does something nuts I don’t know it’d be likely."

AMM’s Chicago consumer buying price for shredded automotive scrap, the raw material input for rebar, increased $15 per ton in July but then fell $10 in August, leaving the mills paying about $5 per ton more for the material. Rebar prices for customers are unchanged, however, with most buyers paying around $645 per ton from domestic mills since June.

Several buyers across the United States confirmed paying the same prices for rebar since June as the market continues to move sideways.

"(Rebar prices) should be moving with all the long products, but everyone is asking ‘When?’" said a rebar buyer in California. "Possibly after this quarter. ... Business is not great for everyone. But we’re doing OK. I think that’s why (the mills) are keeping the price and not trying to raise at this time."

A mill source confirmed that rebar prices have flatlined, but said he anticipated an increase. "There’s been more stability in the pricing, but I think there’s an expectation that pricing may go up."

Buyers and mills have discussed rumors of an increase for more than a month (, July 19), but neither Nucor Corp. nor Gerdau Long Steel North America have announced a move.

The stability in rebar prices may reflect the mills’ move away from the raw material surcharge, a cost that tied rebar prices to a surcharge tracking shredded automotive scrap prices (, June 6).

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