US HRC demand stays strong despite higher prices

US hot-rolled coil prices extended gains on June 3 amid strong demand from end-users despite record-high prices.

The daily Platts TSI US HRC index was up $2 at $1,634/st on an ex-works Indiana basis.

“Business is good if we have the stock but we are not quoting more due to low inventory,” a Midwest service center source said. He added that his inventory levels were 40% below where it should currently be.

“Prices are rising but demand has not taken a hit from that,” another service center source said. “We are trying to get some spot availability from mills but it is really tough to find tons and whatever availability opens up, gets taken so quickly too.”

The market was at $1,820-$1,880/st and an integrated mill was at the upper-end of the range, according to the second service center source. He anticipated no change in pricing environment in the short term as most mills have not been more flexible in their contractual supplies either.

With struggles in finding availability from domestic mills, the second service center source placed an order at $1,560/st delivered Houston from a Mexican mill with a late-September delivery time.

A third service center source also reported a transaction from that mill at $1,550/st delivered Houston with an October delivery time.

The combined Platts TSI price index uses a volume — weighted-average calculation — according to TSI’s standard, to determine value on an ex-works Indiana basis.

— Ali Oktay