Flat-rolled steel prices on the west coast have dropped by $30/ton or more over the last few weeks, and industry professionals do not foresee a recovery in the month ahead. According to a recent article in AMM (October 1):
Hot-rolled coil prices for large or established customers on the West Coast, produced either locally or east of the Rockies, have fallen to an estimated $660 to $680 per ton ($33 to $34 per hundredweight) delivered. That’s down from about $700 to $720 per ton in late August and very early September, before it became clear that two major domestic steelmakers wouldn’t be hit by possible labor disruptions.
While hot-rolled futures aren’t looking very optimistic, cold-rolled coil is performing well overseas. China is reportedly offering cold-rolled coil at prices even lower than domestic hot-rolled. Some galvanized distributors are said to be purchasing a good portion of their tonnage overseas, and using their domestic mills largely for fill-in needs.