American Metal Market’s HRC index currently stands at $29.80 per cwt ($596 per ton), up 0.40% from $29.69 per cwt ($593.80 per ton) previously and up 1.60% from $29.33 cwt ($586.60 per ton) in mid-October before the price hikes were announced.
Lead times average three to six weeks, market participants said.
The higher end of that range reflects mills undergoing maintenance outages as well as some producers that are sold out into late December - or, as in the case of one southern mini-mill, into 2018, sources said.
But other facilities sport lead times of only two-and-a-half weeks, and another mini-mill steelmaker has yet to open books for December, most likely because it is waiting to see where scrap prices settle, market participants said.
Uneven lead times and capacity utilization rates are part of the reason why mills have to date recouped only about 50 cents of the announced $2 increases, market participants said. While...