[Ferro-Alloys.com] Houston — US hot-rolled coil prices fell to the lowest level since June 1 as mills lower prices while buyers hold off on orders, sources said Monday.
The daily Platts TSI US hot-rolled coil assessment fell by $7.25/st to $894/st, while the daily Platts TSI US cold-rolled coil assessment dropped by $3.75/st to $1,000/st. The drop puts HRC at its lowest level since June and down 2.9% from July highs.
A mini-mill source said he expects to begin HRC offers at $880/st for September production over Monday and Tuesday. Offers may be adjusted depending on market feedback later in the week, he added.
Sales are anticipated to range $860-$880/st, for September production but overall spot tons will be limited, according to the source.
There is "lots of chatter and denial" over supposed deals between buyers and mills, said a service center source. He had heard of an offer for 5,000 st at $860/st but was told no on $840/st. Still, the price is viewed as a one-off transaction and not repeatable.
Some other "one-off" spot sales for CRC and hot-dipped galvanized products are occurring, but discounted contract buying programs are "every bit as good," he added.
Despite the possible deals, service centers are limiting buys and maintaining leaner inventories.
"A real balance has been created where the service centers want to keep inventory low so they don't get caught when the market drops. This creates a loss of market leverage against the mills, so prices stay high," said a second service center source. Spot tons are still in the $1,000/st range for CRC and HDG, he added.
The weekly Platts TSI US HDG price assessment fell by 50 cents to $1,094.25/st. The price includes a G90 coating weight extra.
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