US HRC: Prices inch up on limited demand

US HRC: Prices inch up on limited demand

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Domestic US hot-rolled coil (HRC) spot prices rose for a fifth consecutive week as mills continued to claw for higher price minimums they annouced two weeks ago even as demand remained weak.

The Argus weekly domestic US HRC index rose by $4/st to $505.50/st ex-works Midwest on nine indications from sell- and buy-side sources.

Lead times stayed flat at 4-5 weeks, with minimills still having availability in late-June and some beginning to work on July, while integrated steelmakers are said to be booked into July.

One integrated mill sold 200 tons of HRC at $540/st, which would match price minimums set by integrated steelmakers US Steel and ArcelorMittal. Both steelmakers increased prices two weeks ago by $40/st, their second increase since 1 May.

Demand remained weak, with some market participants saying steel demand for construction had slowed.

Prime ferrous scrap prices began the June trade up by $10/gt, lower than had been previously expected.

HRC import prices into Houston fell by 5.4pc to $480/st ddp on lower offers from South Korea.

Futures prices in the CME HRC futures market mostly fell over the last week. July prices were flat at $535/st, while August prices slipped by $3/st to $535/st. September futures prices fell by $10/st to $534/st. October HRC future prices fell by $5/st to $534/st, while November HRC futures prices fell by $4/st each to $535/st. December prices fell by $3/st to $536/st.

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