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HSS prices softer, but rise expected soon

Keywords: Tags  hollow structural sections, HSS, Thorsten Schier

NEW YORK — Hollow structural sections (HSS) prices east of the Rockies are said to have softened this past month, although sources anticipate an increase soon on the back of firming coil tags.

"It fell earlier this month but it’s steady now and prices are going to go up," an East Coast distributor source said.

AMM’s HSS price assessment has fallen to $930 per ton from $950 previously as some sources said competition between large players in the market had driven pricing lower. However, others said it was hard to pinpoint exactly what had caused the softening.

"Many of the companies have different pricing structures for regions and certain companies, so it’s hard to tell exactly who they’ve dropped (the price) to," a Midwest distributor source said.

Despite the price fall, many sources still reported healthy demand. "We’re as busy in terms of the phone ringing ... as we have been in years," a mill source in the region said. He was surprised by the price decline, noting that he hadn’t seen it in his region as flat-rolled prices have not softened recently and might even increase shortly. "News of the sale of Severstal (North America Inc.) to SDI (Steel Dynamics Inc.) and AK (Steel Corp.) has people scrambling a little bit to get supply in the future," he said.

A Mid-Atantic distributor source said that an expected price rise following the recent favorable oil country tubular goods trade decision (, July 11) hadn’t materialized due to traditionally slower summer demand, but he nonetheless felt that carbon steel prices were bottoming out. "I think we are currently at the bottom of carbon product pricing and (I) expect prices to slowly firm up between now and year-end," he said, adding that he also was expecting a pickup in demand toward the end of the quarter.

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