U.S. carbon steel plate prices have risen on the West Coast,
although theres little agreement on the likelihood of the
market improving much further.
warehouse plate prices have risen by about $20 per
ton over the past month to $800 to $830 per ton ($40 to $41.50
per hundredweight), depending on the size of the order and the
local market, sources said, attributing it more to mills
determination to push through a hike rather than an actual
improvement in end markets.
The increase is seen
reflecting most of an earlier $30-per-ton hike, but the jury is
out on a second round of $25 hikes.
"Most of the first
increase stuck, but the mills are vacillating on the latest
(hike)," one distributor source said. "At least theyre
not dropping the price."
At one point earlier
in the summer the domestic price hit a low of $38 to $38.50 per
cwt, some observers said.
The latest quotes on
South Korean and Taiwanese plate are about $35 per cwt base or
lower ex-dock, duty paid, which could rise by at least $1 to
$1.50 per cwt when factoring in extras and shipment from the
ports. Mexico is reported at less than $37 per cwt into
"I dont think
anyone has the stomach for speculating on material today,"
another distributor source said. Like many of his counterparts,
he cited steady business but without many large projects.
petrochemical-related industry demand remains one of the
strongest segments, and few mills or distributors appear
willing to push through hikes to these customers. On the other
hand, hardly any significant bridge projects appear