According to MEPS, US selling figures for hot rolled coil declined for the second successive month, in August. Delivery lead times are reported to be between two and four weeks, as domestic demand is weak. Market participants noted that activity is expected to pick up, in the near term, as steel buyers replenish low stock levels.
Hot rolled plate transaction values reduced significantly, in August, compared with those in July. Delivery lead times are as short as four weeks, as demand from the agriculture, heavy equipment and energy sectors remains sluggish. Producers are offering discounted prices to secure orders and protect market share.
A number of market participants noted that cold rolled coil producers were determined to retain list prices at July levels, despite market activity being quiet because of the traditional summer slowdown. Delivery lead times remain at between eight and ten weeks with a number of domestic mills reporting full order books to November/December. Competitively-priced offers from suppliers in Vietnam and Italy were reported, this month.
Coated coil selling figures, in August, are similar to those in our previous report. Despite the traditional summer slowdown, a number of steel buyers reported that local producers were able to conduct the majority of their business at current price levels. Domestic availability of hot dipped galvanised material remains tight, especially for non-contract customers.
In the US, market participants indicated that wire rod transaction values were mirroring scrap costs, with little or no movement on pricing, over the past four weeks. Buyers of mesh quality wire rod remarked that competitively-priced offshore material, particularly from Turkey and Switzerland, was readily available at the ports.
Beam producers maintained current selling figures despite import prices slightly softening, in recent weeks. Offshore material, particularly from Europe, is readily available at US ports. Domestic demand is firm.
Rebar transaction values were steady, in August, for the third successive month, as domestic demand remained relatively sluggish. Import prices, from Taiwan and Turkey, softened, in recent weeks.
Source: MEPS International Steel Review