NEW YORK The U.S. pipe
and tube market remains somewhat weak early in the year, with
prices generally holding steady or dipping and recently
announced hikes so far failing to take hold.
"Prices are going down slowly.
Its just soft demand," a source at one structural and
mechanical mill said.
Hollow structural sections (HSS)
are now around $910 per ton ($45.50 per hundredweight), down
2.2 percent from $930 per ton ($46.50 per hundredweight) a
Another structural and
mechanical mill source said its "hard to see where
exactly the market is right now" because "nobody is sticking to
their price sheet."
Chesterfield, Mo.-based Bull
Moose Tube Co.s recent increase of $50 per ton on HSS (
amm.com, Jan. 29) is said to have fizzled.
"I believe really that if there
is any movement in HSS, it will go lower before it goes
higher," a source at a Mid-Atlantic distributor said. "(Demand)
is similar to January ... and its definitely down from
the same period last year."
Demand for oil country tubular
goods (OCTG) is also said to be lackluster as the North
American drill rig count remains comparatively low.
"Its quite obvious that
well drilling has slowed down," a second Mid-Atlantic
distributor source said.
The latest U.S. rig count from
Houston-based oilfield services firm Baker Hughes Inc. was
1,761, down just one from the previous week but 220 below a