April 2012 | Welded steel tube & pipe
Substrate pricing providing little support for welded tubing prices: Americas Market Analysis
Producers hiked prices but the downside factors outweigh any price support.
Flat product prices tumbled into March with list HR prices settling at $700/ton, and spot or volume sales as low as $660-680/ton, as oversupply weighed on a market anxious to raise operating rates. Hoping to stem the losses and mark the bottom of the market, mills announced flat-rolled price increases in late March and early April. The hikes are intended to take HR to $720/ton, 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. Indeed, scrap costs in April retreated $10-20/l.ton for the obsolete grades and $15/l.ton for prime bundles and busheling scrap, curbing the cost-push support for pricing increases. Producers seek price floorIn mid-April, producers of construction and mechanical tubing both seamless and welded announced price hikes of $30-40/ton on shipments beginning in May. While MBR...
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