pipe and tube distributors have seen an uptick in demand so far
this month, continuing gains seen in August shipments, but
margins remain thin.
"Activity does appear
to be picking up, but the battle that were fighting is
the same one that everyone else is fighting as well. Margins
are very slim and its very, very competitive," according
to one Midwest distributor.
"Selling is extremely
competitive," a second Midwest source said, adding that the
traditional year-end demand slowdown looms. "Before you know
it, were going to be in the winter and then we get into
the lets do it next year scenario."
distributors carbon pipe and tube shipments totaled
242,000 tons in August, up 4.1 percent from 232,500 in July,
while inventories increased 3.7 percent to 706,900 tons (2.9
months supply) from 681,700 tons (2.9 months
supply), according to the latest Metal Service Center Institute
shipped 51,700 tons of pipe and tube in August, up 3.6 percent
from 49,900 tons the previous month, while inventories dipped
1.5 percent to 128,300 tons (2.5 months supply) from
130,300 tons (2.6 months supply).