Fastmarkets’ daily steel hot-rolled coil index, fob mill US was calculated at $59.05 per hundredweight ($1,181 per short ton) on Wednesday February 10, up by 0.15% from $58.96 per cwt the previous day and by 2.38% from $57.68 per cwt one week earlier.

Inputs were received in a range of $52-62.50 per cwt, but the low end of that range was automatically discarded by the outlier filter. Most inputs were collected in the range of $58-60 per cwt. Inputs were carried over in the consumer sub-index due to a lack of liquidity there.

Heard in the market

Most sources did not hear of any transactions at levels collected toward the low end of the range on Wednesday, they said.

It remains difficult to find material, particularly in the Midwest, some buyer sources said, noting that there were some better deals available in the South recently due to more supply availability, but those have dried up now.

Other sources, meanwhile, said lead times are stable.

Service centers are still seeing positive demand from their customers, market participants said.

A West Coast distributor source noted that it is easier to penetrate markets further east now because those who can import have a competitive advantage over those who cannot.

Quote of the day
“Some customers think there will be more availability in May and June, but as customers hesitate to buy too far forward that may just keep the market firm longer,” a producer source said.

Patrick Fitzgerald in New York contributed to this report.