[Ferro-Alloys.com]US hot-rolled coil (HRC) prices edged down recently as mills tried to maintain prices, but some lower offers were reported in the market.
The Argus weekly domestic US HRC Midwest and southern assessments both edged down by $12/short ton (st) to $1,488/st.
HRC lead times in the Midwest were flat at 4-5 weeks, as some mills were said to still have late-May availability, with others moved into June.
Some HRC offers were heard as low as $1,450/st, with mills attempting to hold the line at $1,500/st.
Demand remained steady although many took a wait-and-see approach and only bought for immediate needs.
Sentiment has declined lately on the back of falling Turkish scrap export pricing and expectations that domestic prime scrap prices will fall in May.
US steelmakers appear to have gotten a handle on potential raw material shortages, particularly around pig iron. Electric arc furnace (EAF) steelmaker Steel Dynamics (SDI) touted its ability to reduce both its pig iron and #1 busheling requirements and secure its pig iron needs through Brazil and India for the balance of 2022.
EAF competitor Nucor has cut its pig iron requirements from 10pc to 6pc and is leaning on internal metallics sources and other global pig iron producers.
In October, integrated steelmaker US Steel is planning to take a 21 day outage at one of its Mon Valley Works blast furnaces, which could remove at least 81,000st of hot metal production off the market.
Last week integrated steelmaker Cleveland-Cliffs said it would build an electrical steel-focused EAF at its Middletown, Ohio steel mill if US automakers keep to their plans to rapidly increase electric vehicle production over the next few years.
HRC import prices into Houston edged down by $11/st to $1,486/st ddp as import offers into the US were limited. Prices continue to range widely on different regional prices and freight costs.
The spread between pig iron cfr New Orleans and #1 busheling delivered US Midwest consumer was flat at $231/st.
The spread between #1 busheling scrap delivered US Midwest mills and HRC selling prices fell by 1.5pc to $812/st. A year ago the spread was $894/st.
The spread between pig iron cfr New Orleans and Midwest and southern HRC prices fell by 2pc to $581/st.
The Argus weekly domestic US cold-rolled coil (CRC) assessment was flat at $1,900/st, while the hot dipped galvanized (HDG) coil assessment moved down by $23/st to $1,877/st.
Lead times for CRC increased to 6-7 weeks from 5-7 weeks while HDG lead times were flat at 5-6 weeks.
The CME HRC Midwest futures market plunged in the last week as market sentiment weakened significantly for the next six months. June pricing dropped by $180/st to $1,250/st, while July future pricing also dropped by $180/st to $1,190/st. August futures plummeted by $200/st to $1,130/st, and September futures plunged by $222/st to $1,090/st. October futures dropped by $171/st to $1,079/st, while November pricing fell by $190/st to $1,050/st.
The Argus weekly domestic US ex-works plate assessment was flat at $1,928.75/st, as was the plate delivered assessment at $2,007.50/st. Lead times increased slightly to 6-7 weeks from 5-6 weeks. (argusmedia)
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