US Sheet buyers watch another hot-rolled record emerge

US sheet players confirm that hot-rolled coil is now operating north of $1,700/short ton – yet another new, record high, Kallanish reports.

A source at one top-tier mill says “multiple transactions” have been done north of $1,700/st for hot-rolled, as well as at $1,950-2,000/st for cold-rolled coil and galvanised substrate. 

A Midwest service centre source believes that published indices will shortly establish that number as a firm floor – especially considering there will be no industry-wide shutdown this Fourth of July holiday. 

The twin hammers of Covid-19 and the semiconductor shortage have spurred auto producers to play catch-up since the end of last year, leading to the historic run-up in sheet pricing. 

Multiple sources have been predicting a quick, sharp drop over the past several months as record after record falls. As a result, virtually no buying is being done on a speculative basis, a West Coast buyer said late last week. 

On Monday, Kallanish raised its hot-rolled assessment to $1,700-1,750/st and its cold-rolled assessment to $1,900-1,950/st. All prices are ex-works, domestic mill, transactional pricing.

Dan Hilliard USA