West Coast structural steel tubing prices continue to soften
amid a continuing shakeout in distribution capacity, with some
buyers believing the bottom may be near.
Truckload prices to
distributors for core sizes of A500 Grade B hollow structural
sections (HSS) in the Los Angeles market are estimated at
$46.50 to $47.50 per hundredweight ($930 to $950 per ton) and
possibly lower for larger buys, reflecting a reported decline
of about $1 per cwt in the past six weeks.
strong; people are just buying what they can sell and can use
tomorrow," a distributor source said.
market sources do not think there is much room for further
erosion, especially with indications that prices for coil
feedstock could rise and what some buyers see as a greater
"reluctance" of tubers to price even more aggressively.
But they also
acknowledge that South Korean tubing, which has been quoted at
a reported $38 to $39 per cwt, continues to exert pressure on
Few sources said they
see signs yet from local tubing mills that producers are
looking to follow their counterparts east of the Rockies, which
have announced price increases effective with Nov. 4 shipments
amm.com, Oct. 7).
companies in the West Coast marketState Pipe & Supply
Inc., Rialto, Calif., and Young Steel & Tube, Compton,
Calif.have discontinued HSS distribution in a
construction environment that still is not showing any signs of
a near-term turnaround.
A State Pipe & Supply Inc.
executive told AMM the distributor has
determined that structural tubing was not complementary to its
line of pipe products, which are unaffected by its
A caller to Young
Steel & Tube was told the company is no longer
stocking structural tubing, while an executive closely
identified with its tubing business is no longer employed
there. Another Young Steel executive could not be reached for
further comment on the companys plans.
The defections from
the tubing market continue a trend that emerged this summer
with the shutdown of the West Coast structural steel divisions
of Roswell, Ga.-based Kloeckner Metals Corp., whose products
included HSS (
amm.com, July 5).