“Plate prices in the United States are flat on solid demand but mounting concerns that the market might have peaked,” reports AMM.
“Section 232 has resulted in tariffs against South Korea, a major supplier of imported plate to the US market, and 25% tariffs on other countries – including important foreign suppliers such as Canada and Mexico.”
“The economic indicators are sure to support [a price increase],” one East Coast distributor said. But other sources said that the market might have already peaked.
For example, crude oil prices were recently at $68 per barrel, down from $75 per barrel a week ago.
Crude oil prices, typically track closely with the steel and ferrous scrap markets. Some distributors have already moved to the sidelines before energy prices began dropping.
“It was just too expensive,” a West Coast distributor said of delivered prices of cwt being offered by major steelmakers. His company, and others like it, have bulked up on inventory to get ahead of Section 232 related price increases.
The AMM reports, “A steel buyer said his company was also being more cautious because of the potential for the trade policies of President Donald Trump’s administration to inflate prices and hurt demand.”
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