Integrated steelmaker Cleveland-Cliffs has increased its flat-rolled steel prices by $50/short ton (st), its second increase in as many weeks.
The company's higher prices are effective immediately on all new orders. Cliffs also placed a price floor for hot-rolled coil (HRC) prices at $750/st. The last time the company raised prices was 28 November, when it increased flat-rolled prices by $60/st. Four other North American steelmakers followed suit.
The steelmaker cited market feedback and improved dynamics in the raw materials and distribution markets.
The Argus US HRC Midwest assessment settled at $679/st, little changed from yesterday and up by $51/st from two weeks ago.
Ferrous scrap prices increased in the December trade, rising by $30/gross ton (gt) for #1 busheling and $20/gt for shred grades from November, higher than previously expected and creating cost pressure for US steelmakers.
Market participants expected another price increase before the Christmas holiday, although few expected it this soon. Overall steel demand has not improved much in the US, and the Christmas and New Year's holidays are expected to bring a broad slowdown to the market.
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