Prices for cold-rolled and hot-dipped galvanized coil in the United States again jumped to all-time highs this past week, with market participants continuing to cite the lack of spot supply as the main driver behind the surge.
Fastmarkets’ weekly price assessment for steel cold-rolled coil, fob mill US rose to $89 per hundredweight ($1,780 per short ton) on Thursday May 20, up by 3.49% from $86 per cwt the week before and 54.78% higher than $57.50 per cwt at the beginning of the year. That is the highest level ever recorded by Fastmarkets since at least 1987.
Fastmarkets’ price assessment for steel hot-dipped galvanized coil (cold-rolled base), fob mill US was $90 per cwt ($1,800 per ton) on Thursday, up by 4.05% from $86.50 per cwt a week earlier and 55.17% higher than $58 per cwt at the beginning of the year.
Fastmarkets’ price assessment for steel hot-dipped galvanized coil (hot-rolled base), fob mill US also rose to $90 per cwt on May 20 from $86.50 per cwt previously.
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All three prices climbed to fresh all-time highs in the latest assessment period. Prices have remained steady or risen every week since the beginning of the year.
Inputs were received in a range from $84-91 per cwt for CRC and $84-92 per cwt for HDG. Lead times were reported generally in a range stretching from the end of July through mid-August.
Some buyers reported that they were only able to receive minimal – if any – quotes from mills for flat-rolled spot material, due to the ongoing supply shortage.
“We aren’t getting [hot-rolled coil] quotes, or any for galvanized either,” a midwestern distributor said.
“Still slow going on offers,” a consumer said. “Seems like anything that comes available is being offered at top dollar.”
One trader anticipated wider spot availability for July than June from a particular mill, but could not explain why that would be in this current environment.
The consumer also noted that mills have succeeded in widening the spread between value-added products and hot-rolled coil.
Indeed, the price gap between hot- and cold-rolled coil stood at $9.77 per cwt on Thursday, up from a spread of $4.33 per cwt on January 7 and from $9.07 per cwt a year ago on May 21, 2020.
Similarly, the spread between HRC and cold-rolled base HDG was $10.77 per cwt on Thursday, up from a spread of $4.83 per cwt on January 7 and $9.07 per cwt a year ago.
Hot-rolled coil prices in the United States rose to a record high for the sixth time this month on May 20, surging above $79 per cwt ($1,580 per ton) for the first time since Fastmarkets began assessing this market in 1960.
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