Prices for imported flat-rolled steel in the United States have fallen, with buyers moving to the market sidelines either because they have enough stock or because they expect further price declines.
“Things are softening out there. We have seen more inquiries. But they’re not turning into orders, which means that people are just [testing the market] to see how soft it is,” a trader on the US Gulf Coast said.
“Some kind of correction, a minor one, is happening,” a US East Coast trader said.
Market sources offered three principal reasons to delay purchases.
First, consumers have enough inventory and are concerned that any steel purchased now might be worth less when it arrives.
Second, it is not certain that the US Section 232 import tariffs will remain in effect in full, especially if progress is made in trade talks between the US and the EU or between the...