US STEEL MARKET ROUNDUP FROM MEPS INTERNATIONAL LTD
US hot rolled coil delivery lead times remain at four to six weeks, according to
MEPS. Demand is moderate to good, with the exception of the construction sector
which is slow to recover. Domestic production levels are high. Transaction
figures were steady in August but weakened recently, partly due to the
availability of cheaper imports.
Hot rolled plate makers have recently announced another hike. This has been
badly received by the consuming industries. Customers feel that, although the
market is relatively good, high inventories at the service centres and the onset
of winter do not support a rise. Delivery lead times are down to eight/ten
weeks. Conditions are expected to remain strong into November. The biggest
concern for steelmakers is whether the influx of offshore material will upset
the balance between supply and demand.
The threat of anti-dumping law suites are keeping many potential buyers from
importing cold rolled coil. Consumption, particularly by the auto sector,
Coated coil transaction figures were unchanged in August, but, more recently,
imports have created downward pressure. However, buyers are cautious in regards
to ordering overseas material because of the threat of anti-dumping suits.
Producers briefly lifted prices, for wire rod, in August but the move was
short-lived. Current figures are similar to those in July. Demand from the
construction sector is steady but many customers have sufficient stocks of
Chinese and Turkish material at present. Order intake at the domestic mills is
Wide flange beam prices remain flat. There has been no push from scrap costs and
demand is somewhat subdued as service centres are looking to reduce inventories
before the year-end.
Demand for rebar is healthy, with good order intake at the domestic mills.
Turkish material has become a little more expensive. The US government has
decided not to impose dumping duties on rebar imports from that country.
Merchant bar transaction figures have weakened marginally compared with
July/August. The market is not strong enough to support a rise. Turkish
suppliers are offering angles at a slightly higher price than in July.
Steel Review - September Issue
Free Sample copies
of MEPS Reports
the latest copy of International Steel Review here
up for free MEPS steel news alerts