US CRC, HDG steel prices settle higher; HRC market waits on new prices

Houston (Platts)--5 Mar 2018 554 pm EST/2254 GMT

US cold-rolled coil and hot-dipped galvanized sheet steel prices moved higher on Monday, while the rest of the market waits on new hot-rolled coil price indications.

The daily Platts TSI CRC assessment increased by $10.25/st to $945/st but HRC prices stayed unchanged at $800/st.

Cold-rolled coil offers went up $60/st "overnight," according to one mill source. Prices are "up considerably from where we were last week," he added.

New CRC offers are now at $940/st, with HDG base prices at $960/st. The increases come as there remains plenty of uncertainty surrounding President Trump's final decision on tariffs following the US Department of Commerce's recommendations from its Section 232 investigation.

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The uncertainty is spurring many buyers to secure orders, as there is no panic but buyers are "concerned and want to act now rather than wait," the source added.

"I'm putting on every pound of my May requirements right now before our contract suppliers decide to only allow us to buy at the monthly minimums," a service center source said.

A Midwest mini-mill is still holding off on opening its April order book for HRC, but prices are expected to start around $840/st, according to a second service center source.

The service center is not worried about his short-term supply based off current inventory levels, but is continuing to monitor how his supplying mills react to the possibility of President Trump implementing a 25% blanket tariff on steel imports, which could have an impact on slab-dependent mills and Canadian suppliers.

The weekly Platts US HDG assessment broke $1,000/st on Monday, increasing by $39.25/st to $1,008.25/st, which includes a G90 coating weight zinc extra. HDG prices including the G90 extra last broke $1,000/st briefly in March-April 2011.

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.

--Michael Fitzgerald,
--Edited by Lisa Miller,

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