NEW YORK Distributor selling prices for oil country tubular goods (OCTG) posted their biggest increase of the year in September, with welded product rising for the first time since March 2012, according to the latest data from Pipe Logix LLC.
OCTG products averaged $1,673 per ton in September, up 1.1 percent from $1,655 per ton last month. Electric-resistance welded product averaged $1,532 per ton, up 1.2 percent from $1,514 per ton in August; and seamless product averaged $1,815 per ton, up 1.1 percent from $1,796 per ton in the same comparison.
The differential between domestic and imported prices rose to $454 per ton for the month, suggesting that a recent OCTG price hike (amm.com, Sept. 6) "is being realized more for domestic items than imports," Pipe Logix manager Kurt Minnich said.
This marks only the second time that prices have risen this year, although the monthly OCTG average still trails by 7.6 percent the September 2012 level of $1,811 per ton.
Tulsa, Okla.-based Pipe Logixs OCTG distributors index was at 55 for September vs. 54 in August, pointing to a slightly improving market, Minnich said.
Well permits and rig counts have begun to improve, "indicating OCTG demand has found support," he said, although import volumes are expected to come in at 320,000 tons in August, 35 percent above the prior month and 23 percent above the annual average.
The largest price gains for the month were seen in seamless J55 tubing, which rose 2.7 percent to $1,755 per ton, and seamless N80 production casing, which gained 2.5 percent to $1,704 per ton.
Meanwhile, seamless K55 production casing recorded the largest drop, falling 2.6 percent to $1,359 per ton.