Hot-Rolled, Cold-Rolled Steel Coil Prices Soften In Slow US Market

12 August 2016

Lower prices for hot-rolled steel coil and cold-rolled steel coil in the US have become more prevalent, as some US mills started offering HRC at less than $600/st to attract more orders, sources said mid-week.

Based on market feedback, S&P Global Platts lowered its daily HRC assessment to $590-$620/st on Wednesday from $600-$620/st. The CRC assessment also dropped to $800-$820/st from $810-$830/st. Both assessments are normalized to a Midwest (Indiana) ex-works basis.

One service center source said a Midwest mill lowered its quote for HRC to $590/st this week, down from the $610/st it was previously offering. Another buyer said Wednesday he was hearing the $590/st price from that mill, and there was lower pricing in the South.

Integrated mills are still trying to hold pricing at $630/st, another service center source said, but he has not had enough tons to negotiate a lower price. Even though mills are offering lower HRC prices, he said, the mills are still taking a measured approach. The sources said he did not expect prices would fall far, and there are still fundamentals to support the floor for HRC prices.

A mill source said with shortening lead times, $600/st HRC was available for large orders and purchase less than 500 st would still be offered at $610/st. For CRC, the mill source said there are offers at $790-$800/st on the low end. “I’m still hearing people at $41/cwt ($820/st), but I don?t know if they’re getting it,” he said. In recent weeks, mills have been able to hold cold-rolled coil and galvanized sheet around $630/st, as HRC prices started to deteriorate.

“In the next couple weeks, some people will get that number of $41/cwt ($820/st) and automatically ask for less,” he said. There has been no additional boost in the market because of the recent trade case determinations, and the offers coming from foreign mills untouched by the trade cases are much lower than domestic offers, he said.

An end-user Wednesday also confirmed a mill lowered his CRC price to $810/st ex-works.

Another buyer said mills have been able to hold CRC and galvanized sheet prices steady, even though HRC prices are sliding. “Typically if things get soft, mill guys are calling left and right,” he said, but he has not seen that yet. The buyer said he expects mills will announce a price increase around Labor Day.


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