Despite weak end-market demand in North America, flat-rolled steel prices have increased persistently this year so that hot-rolled sheet steel and cold-rolled sheet cost 57% more than in December, with more increases set for the second quarter. Purchasingdata.com now is predicting that hot-rolled sheet will cost as much as $1,150/ton in July (up from $850 in April) while cold-rolled sheet will cost buyers $1,225 (up from $929 in April).
Not only are steelmakers seeking $1,000 for May spot sales of hot-rolled sheet steel, some now are seeking to add raw material surcharges for sheet deliveries to contract customers. Steel producers insist they have healthy sheet order books, which indicates to them a balanced market. They say end-use demand is strong and stable.
Full Story at Purchasing.com