More US mills back sheet hike

Posted on 31 January 2019

Source: Kallanish

Nucor’s $40/short ton sheet hike has gained the support of several other major producers, Kallanish reports.

The hike – which was initially spearheaded by West Coast producers California Steel Industries and USS-POSCO – has now been echoed by US Steel, ArcelorMittal, and NLMK, according to customer letters. All of the hikes carry the same base price increase and are effective immediately.

Nucor ceo John Ferriola told analysts on a year-end conference call Wednesday that the company would not have announced the increase if it did not believe it could collect it.

Buy-side sources, however, were more sceptical.

“I don’t think they will stick,” says one Midwest buyer. “More or less a gut feeling – deals will still be made on large projects.”

A second Midwest buyer calls the increase "... iffy," but notes that it should stabilise base pricing.

A third says the increases will be a success even if all they do is halt further erosion.

“I’m hoping that, at the very least, prices will not go down further,” he says. “It’s too early to tell if anything will stick.”

Kallanish currently puts hot-rolled coil at $690-730/st, with cold-rolled at $800-840/st. All prices are ex-works, domestic mill. 

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