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West Coast mills fill galvanized order books

Keywords: Tags  steel sheet, West Coast, galvanized sheet, CSI, UPI, Frank Haflich

LOS ANGELES — The West Coast’s two major flat-rolled steel producers have closed out their January order books for galvanized sheet, according to market sources.

California Steel Industries Inc. (CSI), Fontana, Calif., told customers this week it has achieved its "order capacity for galvanized production and shipment" for January, although it’s accepting orders for other flat-rolled products.

CSI also said it will let customers know when its February order book is open.

While USS-Posco Industries Inc. (UPI), Pittsburg, Calif., has not formally announced the closing of its January galvanized rollings, an industry source said they were closed about a week ago, and about half of February’s projected galvanized output has already been booked.

Galvanized typically carries the longest lead times for both mills, which produce their flat-rolled products from outside feedstock, and it’s not unusual for rollings to fill up early, although not necessarily this early.

CSI imports primarily imported slabs and UPI converts hot-rolled bands traditionally supplied by its two joint venture partners, Posco Ltd. of South Korea and Pittsburgh-based U.S. Steel Corp.

Steel buyers also believe that a significant portion of CSI’s galvanized output in January represented tonnage that was originally entered for December but was rolled over into January. CSI had set a Sept. 23 deadline for orders through the balance of 2013. ( Sept. 18). A CSI representative couldn’t be reached for comment.

One buyer described the January order closings as "a good sign" for galvanized sheet, which is seen as the West Coast’s strongest flat-rolled product.

Both mills earlier told customers they would raise galvanized sheet prices by a minimum of $60 per ton effective Nov. 4 ( Nov. 4). Market sources said it looks as if at least a portion of this increase will take hold.

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