SSAB, ArcelorMittal move to raise US steel plate prices by $40/st

Posted on 25 August 2020

SSAB informed US customers on Aug. 24 that it will increase steel plate pricing by $40/st, effective immediately, for new orders.

The announcement follows Nucor's decision to implement a minimum base price of $560/st, which was announced on Aug. 21.

The announcement applies to as-rolled plate, cut-to-length plate and hot-rolled coils over 72 inches wide, as well as normalized and quenched and tempered plate.

The latest daily Platts TSI US plate index was $555.50/st on a delivered Midwest basis. Plate prices have dropped by nearly $60/st since early July amid weak market conditions.

While sources were uncertain whether the increase had any staying power given persistently weak demand, some believed the announcement could help establish a floor for plate prices.

"Demand [is] not there, so this simply is a question of mill discipline," said one service center source. "They have a chance to put in a floor at $560/st, but that is only as good as the weakest player."

Another service center source believed the price hike would only stick if other major producers followed, but added Nucor's base price announcement could prevent the producer from announcing a price increase in the near future.

"Perhaps this can help solidify prices at the $560/st point," said a mill source, while a third service center source was more skeptical.

"The mills are going to try and dig in," said the source. "But plate demand is just not that good ... and mill order books are not very strong either."

ArcelorMittal followed with a price increase later in the day, announcing a rise in its plate pricing by $40/st, effective immediately, with all new orders.

The increase applies to all non-contractual carbon, HSLA, alloy, heat-treated and specialty plate products.

Source : Platts