LOS ANGELES Steel
Dynamics Inc. (SDI) has joined a recent price hike on
structural products, making the increase unanimous among major
producers, while also warning that a cutoff in certain orders
out of floor stock may be imminent.
SDIs Columbia City,
Ind.-based structural and rail division informed customers this
week that, effective with shipments Dec. 1, it will raise
wide-flange beams and channel products by $35 per ton ($1.75
per hundredweight), boosting core sizes of wide-flange beams to
$780 per ton ($39 per cwt).
The hike follows similar
increases by Nucor-Yamato Steel Co., Blytheville, Ark., and
Nucor Corp.s Berkeley, S.C., beam mill. Additionally,
Tampa, Fla.-based Gerdau Long Steel North America said last
week that its $35-per-ton increase was effective on all new
orders, although existing orders shipped before Dec. 1 would be
"price-protected" (amm.com, Nov. 12).
While a number of buyers in
recent weeks were reportedly ordering beams from mill
inventoriesin particular for shipment before Dec. 1, at
the pre-increase price of $37.25 per cwt ($745 per
ton)Fort Wayne, Ind.-based SDI told customers that option
might not be available for long.
"Please be aware that we may
suspend stock sales with a promise delivery date in
November at any moment due to available shipping time
limitations," SDI said in a letter to customers.
"Theyre telling us to get
our orders in right away or we may be out of luck getting
material at the old price," said one distributor, who said
its his impression that SDIs orders have
temporarily spiked to a point greater than its ability to ship
before Dec. 1.
Amid a reported increase in mill
orders, market sources reported few indications that
consumption is actually rising.
Moreover, imports arent seen as a significant
alternative for most buyers. Russian beams have reportedly been
offered for January-February shipment to the Gulf Coast at
approximately $37 per cwt ($740 per ton), although that price
wasnt an especially attractive one as buyers still
arent convinced that domestic prices wont fall in
the coming months.