Merchant bar mills are sticking to their guns on a recent
$20-per-ton ($1-per-hundredweight) increase, sources told
AMM this past week.
along," a source at an East Coast distributor said.
A Midwest distributor
source attributed the firm stance to rising scrap prices rather
than a pickup in demand. "Historically, this time of the year
scrap gets strength. It (the increase) is not being so much
demand driven," he said.
As a result, little
additional buying has been spurred by the increase as
distributors continue to maintain lean inventories, but sources
wonder whether the increase will last until the first quarter,
when distributors typically have to restock.
"Usually, for us the
first quarter is the busiest," the Midwest distributor source
A western distributor
said the increase was being backed up by low stock levels at
mills in his area, even for commodity items. "Theres a
big need in the market, and now you need to book for rollings
in the future," he said.
The increase puts U.S.
prices for benchmark 2- x 2- x ¼-inch angles at $773 per
ton ($38.65 per hundredweight) for spot purchases, up from $753
per ton ($37.65 per cwt) previously, although discounting for
large-volume buyers continues, sources said.
prices for 2- x 2- x ¼-inch angles remain at $660 to
$700 per ton ($33 to $35 per cwt), with Mexico still said to be
the most active shipper of merchant bar to the United