NAS drops stainless bar tags ‘to compete with imports’

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North American Stainless Inc. (NAS) has lowered its base prices for 416-grade stainless bar to compete with lower-priced imports.

“Due to a high level of imports, NAS has lowered prices in some select size ranges,” a spokeswoman for Ghent, Ky.-based NAS told AMM.

“They felt that they were not competitive,” a source said of the stainless steel producer’s move.

The price drop for some customers was as much as 11 cents per pound, according to the source, putting prices for 1-inch 416-grade stainless bar at around $1.10 per pound with June surcharges, down from AMM’s market price of $1.21 per pound last month. Surcharges were virtually flat month on month.

“That puts them far below some of the other (domestic) producers,” a second source said.

The latest drop follows a decrease in NAS’ base prices for 300-series stainless bar earlier in May (AMM, May 2).

Sources said softening demand might also be behind the latest move. “The pace has slowed. It’s still good, but not as good as last year,” the second source said.