NEW YORK Wire
rod mills offer prices have dropped about $10 per ton
from September, mills and rod buyers said, drawing some takers
as other buyersparticularly those that have booked
importshold off in anticipation of further price drops in
The price decline
follows a $9-per-ton decrease in AMMs Chicago
shredded automotive scrap price earlier this month (
amm.com, Sept. 6).
Rod prices have
generally been softening since spring, aside from a price
increase in August.
"Scraps down 10
bucks. As we look toward October, the rod mills have the last
couple of times gone down with scrap. Well continue to
see downward pressures on scrap and rod," according to one wire
rod buyer, who is transacting $10-per-ton lower than earlier
following scrap, and that puts us at a disadvantage now with
prices dropping," one mill source said.
Wire mesh-quality rod
is transacting at around $630 per ton ($31.50 per
hundredweight) f.o.b. mill, off from $640 per ton ($32 per cwt)
earlier in September. Industrial-quality rod is $640 per ton,
down from $650 per ton ($32.50 per cwt), and high-carbon rod is
at $680 per ton ($34 per cwt), off from $700 per ton ($35 per
cwt). Cold-heading-quality wire rod is steady at $770 per ton
($38.50 per cwt).
Imports of wire rod
from China and soft domestic demand are also putting downward
pressure on prices. Many rod buyers have booked orders of
Chinese material through year-end and wont order large
volumes from domestic mills, a trend that will likely be
exacerbated in the fourth quarter, when buyers expect large
quantities of imports (
amm.com, Sept. 6).
More than 85,000
tonnes of Chinese hot-rolled barmuch of which is actually
wire rod with trace amounts of boron that has been
amm.com, Aug. 19)is likely to land in U.S.
ports in September, according to preliminary license data
through Sept. 25 from the Commerce Departments Import
Market players expect
scrap prices to continue a steady slide. With finished wire
prices falling and competition high, several buyers told
AMM that they are holding off on purchasing until they
see more favorable prices.
"Business is really
slow moving. I dont know if its uncertainty in the
economy, its just not moving out the door," a second mill
source said. "Now weve got the mindset that weve
got to move it out the door. Theres talk of scrap going
down, and buyers want to see if they can hold to next month to
get the best price."
The first mill source
said that many of his customers had booked large quantities of
Chinese material for the fourth quarter. "A lot of imports are
coming in the fourth quarter. The first quarter is being booked
for Chinese material, too," he said. "Its keeping prices
depressed not only for low carbon; but also I think the
customer base here, theyre all taking part in buying
imports for fear that they wont be competitive