LOS ANGELES Gerdau Long Steel North Americas decision to cancel its $30-per-ton price increase on steel beams came as little surprise to buyers as other major mills failed to support the move.
The Tampa, Fla.-based producer said in a Jan. 30 letter to customers that "in order to be competitive" it was "rescinding" its Jan. 13 increase of $1.50 per hundredweight ($30 per ton) that was due to begin with shipments Feb. 1 (amm.com, Jan. 22).
This brings Gerdaus published price on core sizes of wide-flange beams back to $40 per cwt ($800 per ton), in line with rivals Nucor-Yamato Steel Co., Blytheville, Ark., and Fort Wayne, Ind.-based Steel Dynamics Inc.s (SDIs) Structural and Rail division in Columbia City, Ind.
Gerdau "had to start off February at least competitive" with Nucor-Yamato and SDI, a service center buyer said.
Initial indications that Gerdaus increase wasnt holding began to surface more than a week ago, with industry reports that it was willing to trim its increase to certain customers by about 50 cents per cwt ($10 per ton). However, a spokeswoman said at the time the posted increase still held.
But buyers said pressure was building on Gerdau to clear up any uncertainty as the Feb. 1 shipment date approached.
"I was staying away from Gerdau" until that uncertainty was resolved this past week, a Midwest buyer said.