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Nucor’s merchant bar hike seen sticking

Keywords: Tags  merchant bar, Nucor, Gerdau Long Steel North America, price increases, Steel Dynamics, Roanoke Bar division, merchant bar prices, Thorsten Schier

NEW YORK — Nucor Corp.’s recent $20-per-ton ($1-per-hundredweight) increase on merchant bar and structural products is expected to take hold, according to some market participants.

"I would think it’s probably going to hold because of scrap going up and because the first quarter is usually a little stronger," one Midwest service center source said.

"I’m not surprised by it, and everybody anticipated an increase. Whether it was $10 or $20 per ton was up to some speculation," a second Midwest distributor said.

Charlotte, N.C.-based Nucor raised merchant bar prices (, Dec. 18) after Gerdau Long Steel North America, Tampa, Fla., increased its merchant bar tags $10 per ton (50 cents per cwt) earlier in the month (, Dec. 12).

"Maybe they (Gerdau) thought they couldn’t get away with $20 (per ton) because the market isn’t that strong right now," the first Midwest source said.

But other mills are largely expected to follow Nucor’s latest increase.

"They (Nucor) are generally the leader in all this stuff. I think Gerdau will follow that extra 50 cents (per cwt) too," a western distributor said.

Steel Dynamics Inc.’s (SDI’s) Roanoke Bar division in Roanoke, Va., has followed the $20-per-ton ($1-per-cwt) increase on merchant products, according to a price list on the company’s website.

Fort Wayne, Ind.-based SDI recently said long product margins were expected to crimp fourth-quarter earnings (, Dec. 18).

Mexican merchant bar makers are also said to have raised their prices in light of domestic increases.

"They go up pretty much right away whenever Nucor announces," the western distributor said.

"Gerdau is currently evaluating to ensure its products are transacting where they should be in the value stream," a company spokeswoman told AMM via e-mail.

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