US mills moving HRC to $900/st, steel price peak may be near

US mills continued to move hot-rolled coil offer prices to $900/st Monday, but many in the market are expecting prices to be nearing the peak.

The daily Platts TSI US HRC assessment increased $3.25/st to $873/st, while the cold-rolled coil assessment was unchanged at $997.25/st.

Some mini-mills are beginning to open May order books with at least four different mills all heard to be starting HRC offers at $900/st. The about $50/st increase from where some mini-mills finalized April order books is expected to push prices toward a near-term peak.

“It’s no doubt the panic has subsided a bit. Maybe [prices] won’t go a whole lot higher,” a mill source said. Still, in the near term, there is no more additional availability to help ease supply constraints, the mill source noted.

The mill intends to begin offering HRC at $900/st for May production and expects to know later this week if the market will support the higher prices.

“I do think that $900/st is the peak or … close,” one service center source said. Two mini-mills are already offering at that level and claim to be securing orders, the source added.

A second service center source confirmed the two mini-mills are offering limited May tonnage at $900/st. He did not expect as much concern from buyers about being caught short on supply as the calendar heads toward the summer. He had bought heavier on his March and April contracts to cover supply needs.

The weekly Platts TSI hot-dipped galvanized price jumped $33.25/st to $1,116/st. The price includes a G90 coating weight extra.

Mills continue to push base prices beyond $1,000/st, according to multiple buy-side sources. One mill is offering $1,030/st for HDG base, one service center source said.

“I see all quotes above $1,000/st base now — $1,030-$1,060/st seems to be the range we are working with,” another service center source added.

The combined Platts TSI price index uses a volume-weighted average calculation — according to TSI’s standard — to determine value on an ex-works Indiana basis.
Source: Platts

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