NEW YORK Rebar price increases have gradually filtered into the marketplace, with demand in most regions strong enough to support higher mill prices.
Charlotte, N.C.-based Nucor Corp. and Steel Dynamics Inc.s Roanoke Bar unit in Roanoke, Va., joined Irving, Texas-based Commercial Metals Co.s CMC Steel Arizona and Tampa, Fla.-based Gerdau Long Steel North Americas $20-per-ton ($1-per-hundredweight) November price increases with their own announcements Dec. 3 (amm.com, Dec. 3). All major U.S. rebar mills have announced total price increases of $30 per ton ($1.50 per cwt) since mid-October.
The price increases were delayed from taking immediate effect, with many buyers given certain time periods to pick up already-ordered steel from the mills at previous prices.
Much of the increased amounts is now being paid, however, buyers said, putting the transactional price for Grade 60 No. 5 rebar at around $655 per ton ($32.75 per cwt) f.o.b. mill. Construction demand has not tapered as it usually does at year-end, supporting prices.
"Sometimes the mills have been holding (old) pricing on stuff thats on order. Theyve got cutoff dates, though," a rebar buyer said. "There hasnt been maneuvering as far as cutting deals."
Mills have been under pressure to raise prices as scrap tags have increased in recent months with AMMs Midwest shredded scrap prices rising more than $30 since September and likely to continue to climb this month (amm.com, Dec. 5).
"The price increases on rebar are not as high as raw material increases, but they increased nevertheless," a mill source said. "Theyre looking like theyre sticking and theres positive momentum, but margins are still pressed, unfortunately."
Some rebar buyers said they have bought increased amounts of rebar, anticipating price increases, and are holding on to higher inventories now to avoid paying higher prices later.
The price increases over the past two months have followed a trade case against rebar imports from Turkey and Mexico, higher scrap prices and stronger-than-expected year-end demand.
"December is busy in the Midwest mainly because the projects are getting rushed to get done. A good, busy December is a rare thing so you gotta take advantage of it," the mill source said.