NEW YORK Rebar
buyers are starting to see price increases from the mills take
hold as the market shows signs of life before winter sets in
and Turkish rebar exporters back out of the U.S. market.
Nucor Corp. led the charge earlier this month by announcing a
price increase of $10 per ton (50 cents per
hundredweight), and was soon followed by Gerdau Long Steel
North America, Tampa, Fla. (
amm.com, Oct. 16). It was the first increase in
months, and the uptick appears to be taking hold.
"The increase is
sticking. People are not complaining about it," one mill source
said. "People are buying. We can cruise for the winter here at
these rates. If its a cold, wet winter, (activity) will
slow down around mid- to late November. Hopefully, theres
enough backlog then."
A rebar buyer agreed.
"Theyre sticking to that increase," he said.
Some rebar buyers are
still expecting shipments at pre-increase prices and
havent yet ordered at new price levels, but said they
expect to pay $10 per ton more when they do.
Grade 60 No. 5 rebar
is transacting at around $650 per ton ($32.50 per
hundredweight) f.o.b. mill.
Some rebar buyers
reported a flurry of market activity, with their customers
rushing to buy fabricated rebar before the ground freezes. In
regions unlikely to see sub-zero temperatures, buyers are wary
of increased winter rainfall, and contractors are rushing to
finish projects before December.
"Some of the business
is, Hey, lets get it started now and try to get it
all under roof so we can do other stuff before the snow
flies," a second rebar buyer said.
Imports from Mexico
have been offered at higher prices, with buyers reporting that
offers have increased at least $20 per ton since the trade
petition against Turkish and Mexican rebar was filed in
amm.com, Sept. 5).
A large order of
Turkish rebar was booked recently for January arrival at $520
per short ton, a rebar trader said, but current import offers
c.i.f. Houston are in the $550- to $570-per-ton range. With the
threat of duties looming, however, importers say they are
unlikely to book much Turkish material going forward.
With cheap Turkish
imports likely off the table in the coming months, mills are
preparing for yet another round of increases, several sources
said, although reports of a looming price hike were
running to secure material because they see prices going up," a
third rebar buyer said. "I fully expect (the mills) to raise it
(again) next month."