NEW YORK Nucor
Corp. became the latest steelmaker to increase its base prices
on sheet products as an increasing number of market
participants seem convinced the recent rise in prices may hold
N.C.-based steelmaker set prices at $34 per hundredweight ($680
per ton) for hot-rolled coil and $39.50 per cwt ($790 per ton)
for cold-rolled and galvanized, it said in an Oct. 3 letter to
The move came after
Portage, Ind.-based NLMK USA and Chicago-based ArcelorMittal
USA LLC kicked off a fresh round of steel sheet price increases
earlier this week (
amm.com, Sept. 30), which were followed by West
Chester, Ohio-based AK Steel Corp., Dearborn, Mich.-based
Severstal North America LLC and Pittsburgh-based U.S. Steel
amm.com, Oct. 1).
With much of the
market publicly on board, and a number of other steelmakers
having increased their own prices internally, sources said, the
probability of a stabilized and upward moving market may be
around the corner.
"Were talking to
mills right now and everyone is saying that its going to
stick," one Midwest service center source said. "Mill lead
times have stayed extended and inventories are still low enough
that people cant afford not to buy."
remained stable this week at $32 per cwt ($640 per ton), with
several sources saying they were allowed to purchase orders at
old prices before the increase, and cold-rolled prices also
were unchanged at $37.50 per cwt ($750 per ton).
The sentiment among
market participants contacted by AMM this week seems
to have changed drastically from the first half of the year.
While several price hikes transpired through the first half of
the year, an oversupplied market and a lack of expected
seasonal pickup in the first quarter, coupled with import
activity, caused much cynicism in announced increases. However,
with a supply-side change in the summer, including an unplanned
outage at AK Steels Middletown, Ohio, furnace (
amm.com, June 24), among others, domestic mills
successfully passed through several price increases.
"I think this thing
has got legs. And I wouldnt be surprised if we saw
another increase at the end of October, too," a second Midwest
service center source said.
hesitant, however, agreeing that while the rise in price would
definitely gain some sort of traction, that traction could be
"I think itll
soon come to a point when domestics are going to start chasing
people again," one East Coast service center source said. "My
take is that new import offers are back in the market and
business has gotten very quiet. Once all the capacity issues
come back onlinewatch out."