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DOWNSTREAM MALAISE REVEALS SOFTENING US REBAR PRICES - 11 May 2012

Though many say that rebar prices have been flat for weeks, US service centers are quoting lower numbers to customers and there’s the sense that prices are sliding.

One southern distributor said he’s been competing head-to-head with a leading mill this month, selling to in-state customers at about $710/short ton delivered. The current Platts Steel Business Briefing price assessment is $720-725/s.t, fob southeastern mill.

 

A midwestern service center source said mill prices are still $720-725, but believes rebar could slip below $700 in the next 60 days. “Everything seems to indicate that the scrap market is trending down a little bit,” he said. “Our bidding activity is picking up which is a really good sign, but as far as tons out the door, those numbers have slowed down significantly.”

 

Another southern stockist said he’s still paying $725/s.t for No 5 rebar fob mill, though if he committed to buy 1,000-2,000 s.t over four months, he might get $20/s.t off. He said there isn’t much of a market for rebar in the southeast and believes mills have noticed that lowering prices doesn’t help much, since people aren’t buying.

 

He said fabricated rebar jobs are being quoted in his area at an average of $900/s.t, and he was beaten for some jobs at $860-$880/s.t. “What used to be 30-40% growth margin is now 10-20% at best,” he said.

 

Another source said fabricators in his area put offers for fabricated rebar at $850-875/s.t.

 

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