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Gerdau to lift SBQ base prices $30/T

Keywords: Tags  steel, special bar quality, SBQ, price increase, Gerdau Long Steel North America, flats, rounds, round cornered squares Frank Haflich

LOS ANGELES — Gerdau Long Steel North America will increase its base price for special bar quality (SBQ) products $30 per ton effective with shipments June 1.

The Tampa, Fla.-based producer said that all SBQ products, including rounds, flats and round-cornered squares, are included in the increase, which is in addition to existing alloy and raw material surcharges.

Market sources said that it’s far from certain an increase will stick.

"I think they’re going to try, but there’s enough material floating around that they’ll have a tough time selling the market on it," one Midwest consumer said of Gerdau’s effort. "Everyone seems to be in a wait-and-see mode."

While most buyers said SBQ demand this year is healthier than recent years, due in large part to growing automotive requirements, there may be enough material around to undercut an increase.

"I don’t know where this increase is coming from," said one Midwest distributor, who added that it’s doubtful that demand is strong enough to support an increase.

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