US sheet prices appear to be taking a breather ahead of the New Year, though most market sources expect gains shortly thereafter.
One Midwest buyer expects the $40/short ton increase announced before the Christmas holiday to begin sticking in 2020, though its longevity may not last long into the New Year.
A source at one top-tier mill also says he expects the increases to begin taking hold in early 2020, with hot-rolled moving up to the stated list price of about $640/st.
A West Coast buyer believes the sheer number of increases - three, since mid-November - and the wide disparity between some mills leave a lot of wiggle room for buyers willing to shop around.
“I do think things are stable,” he says. “Prices are up from the lows, but the question is exactly where has it truly settled. I’m seeing up to $60-80/st [... difference] between various domestic mills. So it will be interesting to see where it settles.”
Prices predictably held firm over the Christmas holiday, says a second Midwest buyer, due to the dearth of activity across the supply chain.
Kallanish maintained its hot-rolled price Monday at $560-600/st, with cold-rolled staying at $770-800/st. All prices are ex-works, domestic mill.