US flat-rolled steel prices move up to start week

Pittsburgh (Platts)--4 Dec 2017 443 pm EST/2143 GMT

S&P Global Platts' US hot-dipped galvanized assessment moved up Monday as mills continued to pursue higher base and zinc-extra pricing, according to market feedback.

The weekly Platts TSI assessment of 16-gauge HDG sheet with G90 coating was calculated at $870/st, up $10.75/st on week.

A US mill reported selling more than 300 st at $899/st Friday, while another US mill reported a transaction at $840/st.

While some buyers said they have seen their galvanized base offers move up since US mills announced a $30/st price increase in November, others said they were not seeing much movement in base pricing. On top of the base price increase, a number of US mills have raised zinc coating extras, with Steel Dynamics Inc. being the latest, announcing last week it would be increasing its coating extras for January.

"The base price announcements seem to be a nonstarter, but I think the zinc price extras will be adopted and that will make galvanized more expensive," a service center source said.

He said galvanized lead times are "tepid" at the moment at around six-and-a-half weeks. A US mill reported its lead times were around eight weeks for galv.

Pricing in the galvanized market is "still a bit muddy," another service center source said.

"Buyers are whining that the increased zinc extras and base prices are too much," the source said. "However, at least the mills are getting a bit more optimistic that they are getting prices up as they figure out that the cheaper prices [seen last month] are really are not as rampant as they were."

Hot-rolled and cold-rolled coil prices also moved up Monday to start the week.

The daily Platts TSI US HRC assessment was calculated at $624.75/st Monday, up $8 from Friday. US mills reported sales in the range of $630-$638/st late last week.

Most mills are pushing for $640/st on HRC, the second service center source said, but lower pricing may be available if buyers are willing to put in the effort to negotiate, the second service center source said.

The daily Platts TSI US CRC assessment, meanwhile, was calculated at $799/st Monday, up $2.25 from Friday. US mills reported transactions from late last week in the range of $798-$835/st.

--Justine Coyne,

--Edited by Richard Rubin,

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