US hot-rolled coil index passes $62/cwt

The hot-rolled coil price has hit a new high in the United States, moving above $62 per hundredweight.

Fastmarkets’ daily steel hot-rolled coil index, fob mill US was calculated at $62.51 per cwt ($1,250.20 per short ton) on Monday March 1, up by 1.28% from $61.72 per cwt on Friday and by 2.85% from $60.78 per cwt on February 22.

Fresh inputs were received across all three subindices in a range of $60-65 per cwt, representative of confirmed deals, mill offers and general assessments of spot market pricing levels.

Heard in the market
A projected strong upward trend in this month’s ferrous scrap trade, in addition to the unprecedented lack of spot supply in the US, are the primary drivers of the HRC price gains.

According to sources, there are lingering mill performance issues in the US South due to the severe winter weather that effectively paralyzed some parts of the region recently, on top of existing delivery issues.

Altogether, domestic buyers have underestimated the staying power of the current bull market and their inability to procure material when needed, and US producers remain in a strong position even while more imported hot band reportedly becomes available at attractive prices, sources said.

Quote of the day
“I think one of the biggest issues people are having is that market demand continues to exceed where people think it is going to be, so the forecasting element of this is a problem,” a mill source said. “Combine that with people not being willing to get stuck with buying [new material] at what they perceive is the peak of the market with too much inventory [on hand], and they are buying as little as they can.”

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