The price of hot-rolled coil in the United States has reached its highest level in over two years, Fastmarkets has learned.
Fastmarkets’ daily steel hot-rolled coil index, fob mill US was calculated at $39.83 per hundredweight ($796.60 per ton) on Monday November 30, up 2.1% from $39 per cwt on Wednesday November 25 and an increase of 2.7% from $38.80 per cwt one week earlier.
Inputs were received in a broad range of approximately $39-43 per cwt, representing new mill offers, deals heard and general assessments of current spot market pricing levels. Inputs at the top end of the range were discarded as they represented new mill offers not yet accepted by buyers.
Heard in the market
Hot-rolled coil prices in the United States continued to rise due to a combination of three critical factors: a severely limited supply of spot material, imminent upward pressure forecast for December’s ferrous scrap trade where prices are expected to increase by $30-50 per gross ton, and strong demand from the automotive end market.
The dearth of spot material is creating anxiety across manufacturing supply chains, a midwestern service center source said.
According to an end user, another electric-arc furnace producer has unofficially raised prices to $42 per cwt with no significant spot tonnage to offer, following increases from Nucor and US Steel last week.
Another producer, who recently raised prices, is reportedly unwilling to budge from their new base price.
Quote of the day
“I really believe the very little spot that is available is making everyone feel like the market is much higher than it really is,” a southern service center source said. “Obviously, it will eventually get there if the mills stay disciplined and continue to only offer spot at much higher numbers than where they are transacting 80% of [their contract business].”
Michael Cowden in Chicago contributed to this report.