The domestic rebar market is being maintained by strong inventories as soft sales and slow distribution are signs of a sluggish economy. Middlemen are staying conservative and managing backlogs with existing inventories while prices remain unchanged, Kallanish learns from market sources.
“The rebar business has been busy for us, although there has been some softening on pricing for sure, but only a deal-by-deal basis. The mills will negotiate prices on large deals. It is a buyer’s market to that extent,” says a Midwest buy-side source.
Others note that upward pressure in February, such as Nucor’s announcement of a $20/short ton hike effective 15 March, dissipated by the end of April. Prices for #4 rebar in 20-foot lengths remain at $710-720/st.
“Mills retracted the last increase, behind the scenes, and we can typically get better pricing for larger tonnage. Our fabrication backlogs are strong throughout our shops right now but distribution has definitely been soft for us. There isn’t a huge amount of inventory coming in through the system though. We are trying to remain conservative and stay focused on managing our inventory levels,” says a Midwest fabrication source.
Kallanish updates rebar pricing every Tuesday.