Dealer prices for oil country tubular goods (OCTG) rose 2.6 percent in December, notching a third consecutive month of gains, according to Pipe Logix LLC.
Prices for all eight OCTG grades climbed in the monthly survey, Pipe Logix said in an e-mail Dec. 30. Electric-resistance welded (ERW) N80 production casing soared 6.4 percent and its welded J55 counterpart was up 5 percent as ERW goods outperformed seamless.
The Pipe Logix distributors' index, a measure of sentiment, spiked to 74 in December from 69 in the previous month. A reading over 50 indicates an expanding market for demand and prices, and December was the seventh straight month above that watermark. Meanwhile, the number of active U.S. rigs rose by five during the week ended Dec. 30 to 658, the highest level since early January 2016 (amm.com, Jan. 3), according to Baker Hughes Inc.
"Nearly all the distributors are experiencing an increase in new orders and most are expecting prices to continue to move higher," Pipe Logix manager Kurt Minnich told AMM via e-mail.
Still, OCTG supply is increasing as well, Minnich noted. Import volumes rose to 153,000 tons in October from 83,000 tons in the prior month, and shipment volumes over the past two months are almost 60 percent higher than the trailing 12-month average, he added.
The Tulsa, Okla.-based company's average price for OCTG rose $29, or 2.6 percent, to $1,152 in December. The all-welded average increased by $35, or about 3.5 percent, to $1,053 per ton; seamless prices climbed $22, or 1.8 percent, to $1,250 per ton.
Casing prices generally outpaced tubing. Welded N80 production casing jumped $65 to $1,081 per ton, and welded J55 casing was up $41 to $858 per ton. Seamless N80 casing rose $20, or 1.7 percent, to $1,187 per ton. Seamless K55 casing prices increased by $12, or about 1.2 percent, to $1,035 per ton.
Prices for welded N80 tubing went up by $37, or 3.1 percent, to $1,252 per ton in December as welded J55 tubing climbed $23, or 2.4 percent, to $1,013 per ton. Seamless N80 tubing rose $19, or 1.3 percent, to $1,487 per ton, while seamless J55 tubing was up $13, or 1.1 percent, to $1,189 per ton.