NEW YORK Steel
wire rod prices are unchanged heading into November as weak
demand and competition from imports leaves little room for an
increase, mill sources and buyers told AMM.
Mesh-quality wire rod
remains around $630 per ton ($31.50 per hundredweight),
industrial-quality rod is about $640 per ton ($32 per cwt),
high-carbon rod is around $680 per ton ($34 per cwt) and
cold-heading-quality rod is about $770 per ton ($38.50 per
"Prices are moving
sideways," a mill source said. "Volume is really a huge issue
with so much import material."
Buyers said they have
not paid the $20-per-ton ($1-per-cwt) increase announced by
Nucor Corp. (
amm.com, Oct. 22), which other mills have yet to
reportedly are weak, with most producers operating well below
capacity utilization and buyers receiving material earlier than
expected as mills are impatient to move wire rod out the
"I know theres
plenty of capacity at (one of our suppliers). Theyre
behind their plan for the year in terms of volume, and
theyre not full," a wire rod buyer said.
buyers said they would not be able to pass on a price increase
to their customers.
"For my markets,
theres no chance of the mills getting a price increase.
And theres no chance my customers would allow me to raise
my prices. For me to raise prices is just impossible," a second
wire rod buyer said.
Demand is lower due to
rod buyers holding substantial amounts of Chinese material and
many reportedly doing less business than last year.
continues to be offered at a large spread compared with
domestic material, with wire rod prices at $540 to $560 per ton
c.i.f. Port of Houston and orders reportedly booked at as low
as around $530 per ton c.i.f. Houston. The spread between
domestic and imported product on low-carbon material is about
$80 per ton and the spread on high-carbon material is more than
$100 per ton, sources said.
Mills, buyers and
traders suspect a trade petition against China may be filed in
the first quarter of 2014 (
amm.com, Oct. 22).
"The domestic mills go
through a certain amount of time of saber rattling," a second
trader said. "Does it seem likely there will be a trade case?