US Steel, ArcelorMittal raise HRC prices: Update

Adds ArcelorMittal price increase

US integrated steelmakers US Steel and ArcelorMittal increased flat-rolled steel prices today, their third increase in less than a month.

The price increase would push US Steel's target price for hot-rolled coil (HRC) up $30/st to $590/st, while ArcelorMittal's price increase pushed prices up $40/st to $600/st. US Steel's target prices for cold-rolled coil (CRC) and hot-dipped galvanized (HDG) rose to $790/st, while ArcelorMittal's increased to $810/st.

US Steel and ArcelorMittal have pushed price increases totaling $110/st and $120/st, respectively, since 25 October. Other steel producers have increased prices by $80/st, with the latest $40/st increase coming on 8 November.

The price increases came earlier than anticipated. Many service centers and mills expected the possibility of a third price increase from US mills between Thanksgiving and Christmas.

While lead times for US mills stretch into January, few have reported booking additional tons over the last few weeks, indicating that demand has tapered off. Before and after the first price increases were announced at the end of October, service centers booked many tons to take advantage of spot HRC prices that some said dipped below the Argus weekly domestic US HRC index of $488/st recorded for the week ended 22 October.

The Argus weekly domestic US HRC index rose this week by $7.75/st to $538.50/st ex-works Midwest as mills continued to hold the line on the previous two price increases.

The HRC price announcements come after SSAB this morning raised steel plate prices by $40/st, that company's second increase in two weeks.

Plate prices were reported at $626.50/st delivered for the week ended 19 November, down by 15pc since 24 September.

By Rye Druzin