Structural tubing sources are split on whether further price
increases are imminent in light of a pre-Christmas flat-rolled
boost by domestic mills.
"Yes, I do believe
there will be one, once flat-rolled prices start picking up,"
one mill source said of impending price increases.
sections (HSS) mills consistently raised prices in step with
flat-rolled increases in the latter part of last year, pushing
AMMs HSS price to $1,000 per ton ($50 per cwt)
by the end of December, up 7.5 percent from $930 per ton
($46.50 per cwt) in late September.
However, a second mill
source disagreed. "I dont think so, not from what
Ive seen. I hadnt seen (flat-rolled sheet) really
jump any," he said, but added that "Im all for (an
increase) if it comes."
The changes reportedly
taking place in the HSS rebate structure this year (
amm.com, Dec. 11) also are clouding the outlook,
he said. "Weve been trying to get our hands around how
these changes in the rebates are going to affect prices."
A Midwest distributor
source argued that further flat-rolled increases might be
necessary for HSS to rise again. "I think we need another
flat-rolled increase before the tubers come out with one," he
Meanwhile, the spread
between domestic HSS prices and material imported from most
countries remains wide, with December shipments of 3,873.5
tonnes of welded tube, pipe and hollow profiles from South
Korea valued at an average of $739.93 per ton ($37 per cwt),
9,240.3 tonnes from Turkey averaging $725.32 per ton ($32.27
per cwt) and 10,308.1 tonnes from Mexico averaging $835.56 per
ton ($41.78 per cwt), according to license data from the U.S.
Commerce Departments Enforcement and Compliance