Speculation that electric-resistance-welded (ERW) mills might put their most recent price increase fully into effect in the coming week prompted service centers to accelerate their procurement this past week, mill and distributor sources said.
"Some of these guys have come into the market and are buying. They had their inventory sitting down a little bit too far," a tube mill source said. "Knowing that prices aren't going down, they're a little more comfortable buying."
Fastmarkets' weekly pricing assessment for steel hollow sections ASTM A500 Grade B domestic, fob mill US, was unchanged at $880-920 per short ton ($44-46 per hundredweight) on Thursday August 22.
A $40-per-ton price increase announced in June was confirmed in transaction prices but the assessment has been unchanged for three straight weeks after a second $40-per-ton increase was announced in July.
Market participants noted that A500...