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UPI increases flat-rolled steel prices

Keywords: Tags  USS-Posco Industries, UPI, California Steel Industries, CSI, price increase, flat-rolled, hot-rolled pickled, oiled sheet cold-rolled

LOS ANGELES — USS-Posco Industries Inc. (UPI), the last remaining major West Coast flat-rolled steel producer that’s still taking orders for 2013, told buyers Oct. 4 that it was raising prices for cold-rolled and galvanized sheet by $25 per ton ($1.25 per hundredweight) and hot-rolled pickled and oiled sheet by $15 per ton (75 cents per cwt) effective immediately, according to market sources.

Fontana, Calif.-based flat-rolled producer California Steel Industries Inc. (CSI) told customers last month it would take orders for the rest of the year on hot-rolled, pickled and oiled, cold-rolled and galvanized sheet only up to Sept. 23 (, Sept. 18). Market sources said this past week that CSI either turned down their attempts to book additional tons after that date or they do not believe the company is taking any significant orders for 2013.

"Maybe this will stiffen UPI’s resolve to get these increases," a service center executive said about CSI’s apparent exit from the 2013 flat-rolled market.

Pittsburg, Calif.-based UPI converts hot bands provided by its two owners, Pittsburgh-based U.S. Steel Corp. and Pohang, South Korea-based Posco Ltd. Market sources said UPI this past week was quoting mid- to late-December delivery on orders for which it has to order new bands domestically and January on orders for which bands are sourced overseas. Deliveries on orders for which bands are already in inventory are reported to be early November.

While domestic cold-rolled has been reported in the West Coast market at $36.50 to $38 per cwt, domestic mills reportedly have slashed prices for some large buyers, to under $34 per cwt in some cases, to compete with the region’s lowest-priced source, Chinese mills. While China has ostensibly been moving to boost tags, its prices to larger buyers are nevertheless reported at $32 to $33 per cwt for delivery in late December or January.

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