February 2018 Newsletter

Metals News

What’s Happening in Metals
Metals News

Reading the latest industry news from American Metal Market (http://www.amm.com) is getting more exciting each month.

Their latest includes that prices of various metals and types of steel are up considerably again this month.

This new price discovery is apparently impervious to Wall Street volatility and in spite of shares of mills and related companies recording steep declines early on Friday, February 9th.  One source remarked that it may have to do with the desire to get the products shipped before heavy snow hits, but others believe the trend will remain bullish.

Lead times for coil from American mills are ranging from 4 to 8 weeks. Some mills have already closed the books for March orders, while others have slim inventories available. Severe weather could further limit scrap supplies and drive up prices.

Order entry has been brisk, particularly in pipe and tube where the mills have been booking in a day what they used to book in a week.

Trump’s Section 232 probe should be done in mid-April, and will likely bring about a mixture of tariffs and quotas. Domestic mills are demanding that these remedies are levied against not only Pacific Rim steel mills, but those of Russia, Brazil and Turkey as well. A South Korean steelmaker reportedly has stopped making offers to the US for the time being.

Trends in pricing show cold-rolled coil has gained $45 per cwt ($880 per ton), which is up 1.15%.  Galvanized material is $44 per cwt ($880 per ton), up 1.15%.
The hot-rolled is $37.50 per cwt ($750 per ton), up 1.65%, with some offers as high as $38 per cwt. Hot-rolled index is 11.97% higher than its 2017 peak of $33 per cwt ($660 per ton).
Cold-rolled coil and hot-dipped galvanized base prices have risen as well
Another round of price hikes could come as soon as the week ending Friday, February 16th.

In summary: orders up, inventories down, prices going up, American metal production is coming back.

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