NEW YORK Steel
sheet prices dropped for a second week, with sources reporting
several competitive deals and offers, although market players
were mixed over what caused the devaluing in inventory.
"Things are confusing
to me," one Midwest service center source told AMM. "A
number of (big) mills have lost business because of deals out
there, and I dont know what that means."
slipped to $32.50 per hundredweight ($650 per ton) from $33.25
per cwt ($665 per ton), with some sources reporting deals in
the $32-per-cwt ($640-per-ton) range. Cold-rolled prices fell
to $38.50 per cwt ($770 per ton) from $39.50 per cwt ($790 per
The dip in prices
could be due to the cold weather, mills being hungry for
business after losing out on 2014 contracts or impending
imports, but demand hasnt been terrible, sources said,
underscoring the stability in the market.
"I dont get the
impression that business is bad at all," a second Midwest
service center source said. "Some mills are being unnecessarily
aggressive right now. But my buying pattern hasnt changed
and Im still going to buy what I need. If I have the
opportunity to wait in a falling market, I will."
Others indicated that
while the direction for pricing looked negative, a potential
uptick in raw material costs in March, an affirmative final
decision on an impending trade case vs. imports of oil country
tubular goods (OCTG) and the impending sale of Essen,
Germany-based ThyssenKrupp AGs Calvert, Ala., facility
could change that pattern.
Still, some were more
optimistic, hoping that the recent price slide would be abated
in the short run.
"Demand is still out
there and things are puttering along," one trader said.
"Im still optimistic, even if theres more doom and
gloom than you can shake a stick at. Im just hoping this
is a market correction."