HRC prices mostly flat in US on rising trade war fears

Hot-rolled coil prices inched up in the United States despite divergent outlooks about what a tumultuous trade landscape might mean for demand.

American Metal Market’s hot-rolled coil index moved to $45.84 per hundredweight ($916.80 per ton) on Thursday July 5, up 0.1% from $45.78 per cwt previously and a 40.5% increase from $32.63 per cwt at the beginning of this year. Hot-rolled coil prices are also up 50.3% from $30.50 per cwt a year ago and remain at their highest point since reaching $46.50 per cwt in October 2008, according to American Metal Market pricing records. Lead times are in a wide range of four to nine weeks, market participants said. Some market sources said prices are at or near a peak due to an anticipated rebound in imports in the second half and because President Donald Trump’s trade wars – now under way in China as well as in Canada, Mexico and the European Union – will hurt demand for US-made goods. But others said the trade battles would squeeze supplies while leaving demand unscathed – a scenario that could lead prices...


Michael Cowden

July 06, 2018

22:20 GMT