April 2012 | North American Steels
Costs undermine pricing in April: Flat Product Highlights
Domestic mills announce price hikes in early April as they attempt to stem price declines
Mills announced price increases in early April with Nucor and Severstal NA posting a $20/ton rise and RG Steel pushing for a $25/ton increase on spot sales. The hikes are intended to take HR to $720/ton, and CR and HDG to $820/ton and $920/ton, respectively, but market participants are skeptical that the moves will be accepted as the factors that weakened prices declining costs and ample supplies still threaten the market this month. Through March, mills continued to push utilization rates higher to around 78-80%, despite the looming overhang in material and the slip in prices. Only in the last week of the month did rates subside to 76.3%, but then bounced back up to 79.2% in the first week of April. It appears that mills are abandoning the tactic of cutting supply to meet demand and support prices, relying on the stalwart manufacturing industries to provide the...
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