US hot-rolled coil index above $710/t - but for how long?

Hot-rolled coil prices in the United States have inched up further amid tight supply, but market participants questioned how long the recent high prices would last.

Fastmarkets’ daily steel hot-rolled coil index, fob mill US was calculated at $35.64 per hundredweight ($712.80 per short ton) on Wednesday November 11, an increase of 0.5% from $35.46 per cwt on Tuesday November 10 and up by 3.2% from $34.52 per cwt a week ago on November 4.

The current price is the index’s highest since it was calculated at $35.78 per cwt on January 8, 2019.

Heard in the market
Inputs were received in a range of $35-38 per cwt. The higher end of that range represents mill offers for January 2021 and into February 2021.

Most market participants indicated that lead times had stretched out to January.

Sources remained concerned about spot availability when the mills formally open their order books for January shipments.

Some market participants questioned the sustainability of the current high hot band prices, noting that imports expected to come into the United States in the first quarter of next year - and new and restarted capacity coming online - could ease the current supply shortfall and weigh on prices. Still, others said the lack of available spot material may last longer than expected.

Quotes of the day
“I think that our hot-rolled market is going to get to be a nightmare, worse than it already is. People are going to run out of steel,” one steel distributor said. “I think availability will stay constrained a lot longer than anybody realizes.”

“It’s not like we haven’t seen this movie before; [mills] run prices up high and then it crashes and they wonder what happened,” one consumer said. “When everyone is done with outages and capacity comes back, what is that going to do to the market?”

What to read next
Fastmarkets proposes to discontinue the converted price assessments for the following markets:
Fastmarkets has discontinued the following converted price assessments:
Fastmarkets is proposing to amend the index specifications of its 62% Fe iron ore port index to more closely reflect the chemical composition of mainstream mid-grade ores produced from Australia’s Pilbara region.
The consultation, which is open until October 28, 2022, seeks to ensure that our audited methodologies and price specifications continue to reflect the physical markets for alumina, aluminium, cobalt, copper, lithium and manganese ore, in compliance with the International Organization of Securities Commissions (IOSCO) principles for Price Reporting Agencies (PRAs). This includes all elements of our pricing process, our price specifications and publication frequency.
Fastmarkets is inviting feedback from the industry on its pricing methodology and product specifications for non-ferrous materials, as part of its announced annual methodology review process.
Fastmarkets wishes to clarify in this pricing notice its current methodological approach to Russian brands in its metals and mining pricing assessment process after Russia’s unprovoked invasion of Ukraine.
We use cookies to provide a personalized site experience.
By continuing to use & browse the site you agree to our Privacy Policy.