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Merchant bar market ho-hum, prices flat

Keywords: Tags  merchant bar, angles, channels, flats, steel imports, trade case, Thorsten Schier


NEW YORK — The merchant bar market remained steady this past week as sources reported lackluster demand and flat pricing.

"Nothing at all exciting to write home about. We’re stumbling forward, I guess," one East Coast distributor said.

U.S. prices for 2- x 2- x ¼-inch angles remain at $753 per ton ($37.65 per hundredweight), 3- x 3- x ¼-inch angles at $762 per ton ($38.10 per cwt), 8- x 11.5-inch channels at $747 per ton ($37.35 per cwt) and ½- x 4-inch flats at $757 per ton ($37.85 per cwt). Import prices for 2- x 2- x ¼-inch angles are still between $660 and $700 per ton ($33 to $35 per cwt).

Sources expressed hope that domestic prices would remain steady even though benchmark ferrous scrap tags have dipped slightly the past two months as mills moved away from using a scrap surcharge ( amm.com, June 6), although a distributor source in the Midwest cautioned that mills would need to adjust pricing if scrap prices show larger swings.

"Right now it’s working, but if scrap starts deviating then they might have to make some changes," he said.

Demand was said to be tepid for most imported material over the past couple of weeks, although traders reported some interest in smaller-sized angles from Turkey. Domestic mills reportedly produce these sizes less frequently.

There were rumblings that a recently filed anti-dumping case against Mexican and Turkish rebar producers ( amm.com, Sept. 4) could eventually lead to a similar case on merchant bar.

"If they have any success with that (rebar case), the next step would be merchant bar," the Midwest distributor source said.


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