NEW YORK Wire
rod prices for September have settled at July levels after a
brief rise in August failed to take hold in the face of import
competition and flat demand, market participants said.
"Prices are at July
levels. Everyones kind of holding. No one has to make a
move, so there are no big changes. I dont think everyone
followed Keystone (Steel & Wire Corp. on its August hike)
that much," a high-volume rod buyer in the Midwest said.
Keystone announced in July a $15-per-ton increase in its wire
rod selling prices for August shipments (
amm.com, July 15), and sources said that several
other mills also raised their prices for August shipments, with
many customers seeing a $5- to $15-per-ton increase.
But prices for
September shipment have returned to July levels across the
board after showing signs of weakening in mid-August (
amm.com, Aug. 16).
"The July prices are
essentially what were paying today," a rod buyer in the
Wire mesh-quality rod
is transacting at around $640 per ton ($32 per hundredweight)
f.o.b. mill, industrial-quality wire rod is at $650 per ton
($32.50 per cwt) and high-carbon wire rod is around $700 per
ton ($35 per cwt). Cold-heading-quality wire rod is trading at
$770 per ton ($38.50 per cwt).
Rod buyers are facing
depressed finished wire prices, which has diminished demand for
"With the competition
out there, youve got some people that really drive the
price down and so, therefore, wed have to reduce our
pricing in order to move anything," a second rod buyer in the
Midwest said, adding that he was limiting purchases through
A spike in Chinese
wire rod imports this year has slowed purchasing from U.S. rod
mills, buyers and mill sources said, diminishing activity and
undermining domestic rod prices (
amm.com, Aug. 19).
"The volume is not
there," a mill source said.