Is the price of metal going up everywhere? I live in SE Tenn.,
Chattanooga, and we have been informed that any quotes for metals, (HRS,
CRS, SS, etc.) will only be good for that month as the prices are increasing
We were also told that come Monday we could expect an increase of between
7-39% on SS sheetmetal. That is really going to hurt us since we just bid
on a job involving approximately 500 sheets of 12 gage SS.
Something was mentioned about the suppliers having to use more raw ore
rather than recycled metals being the reason. Yeah, sounded like BS to me
too, but any excuse is a good excuse I guess.
Anyone else seeing this form of robbery in their area?
Jim C Roberts
PS Since this post is not about true-to-life, bending, burning,
turning,drilling or otherwise metalworking, will the OT Police be knocking
on my door soon? I hope not, I haven't had a chance to clean up lately, and
the house is a mess too. :)
There was a large bit in the Portland OR paper this week about steel prices
going up. Some 30%. It seems that China is sucking up all that it can get.
Even the scrap dealers were complaining about the rise in the shipping costs
to ship the scrap to China.
no neat sig line
Hmmm. Maybe this is a reason for my new shop to be wood structure? 39% would
be a big jump. Didn't I hear Bush's name and the words steel tariff in the
same sentence a couple of weeks ago? I'm not politically oriented, but I
remember seing something in the paper.
Not a direct answer, but it must be a pretty competitive market
recently. A large (to me) steel producing company in Hamilton,
Ontario, has just filed for "creditor protection". The company wants
the work-force to take about a 20% reduction in wages/benefits, or
else. I have not been following the company's recent history, so I
can't say whether any of this is influenced by the US restrictions
(embargo?) of Canadian steel or not. But it does indicate some
And there was a thread here recently about exactly what you were told.
The scrap metals industry has gotten rich sending everything to China,
and now the value of scrap is high and the availability low.
The situation is complicated. Bush was recently forced to rescind imported
steel tariffs, world demand is down, and Chinese demand is slackening, so
one would think prices would fall.
But in the US, steel makers are so cash strapped that they can't increase
output at current prices, domestic demand is on the rebound, imports haven't
yet increased, and steel distributors are saying warehoused supplies are tight.
So prices are rising at the distributor level. This likely won't last as imports
rebound, but for now there is a pricing bubble.
Bush's steel tariff was put in place a couple of years ago and
recently removed. So one might think that steel prices would be going
down in the US. But China is importing and using large amounts of
steel and steel scrap, so steel prices are going up. The world wide
glut of steel has ended.
In Houston, the price on small diameter (3/8" - 2") black pipe is rising
steadily, as is the price of gauge size A-36 plate.
I'm still trying to figure why 3/8" black pipe costs almost twice as
much as 3/4" black pipe. (!)
I ordered some 1/2" rd 304 ss, I was told there is a surcharge on all SS
and the amount depends on the amount of nickel in it, I think it was an
extra 9 cents ($cnd) a foot. I thought there was a glut of nickel but
Jim C Roberts wrote:
Lumber prices in the US a pretty high also because of the 39% duty on
softwood lumber that was imposed to prop up your failing west coast
lumber barons. Canada keeps getting these overturned by Nafta but in
the meanwhile the US comsumer pays more and puts Canadian lumber mills
out of work, just to line the pockets of a some already rich men.
I posted this on Dec 4, but it looks like it is still valid- the
shortages appear to be more than just a passing thing:
MONACO, Nov 4 (Reuters) - Nickel prices could reach more than $15,000
a tonne ($6 a lb) in 2004-5 because of an expected boom in Chinese
demand, an extremely limited supply response and chronically low
global stock levels, an industry analyst said on Tuesday.
In a paper to delegates attending a Metal Bulletin (LSE: MTLB.L -
news) ferro-alloys conference, Jim Lennon from Macquarie Bank said
prices could push up to levels last seen 15 years ago.
"Prices will have to rise sharply -- and may stay high for a long
time," he said.
China would play the dominant role in nickel prices because of the
strong pace of its demand, particularly in stainless steel production,
In global terms, Chinese consumption accounts for more than 21 percent
of a total 1.242 million tonnes.
Stainless steel production accounts for two-thirds of nickel
Ferrous Price Spike Predicted
Vicki Roche, a scrap buyer for steelmaker Gerdau AmeriSteel Corp.,
Tampa, Fla., said she has seen scrap prices averaging about $3 per ton
higher thus far in September. She noted that offshore demand for
ferrous scrap is likely to continue and that pig iron out of Brazil is
sold out through January of 2004, causing further demand strain on the
According to Roche, though, some of the other ?perfect storm? factors
that drove scrap prices up are alleviating. She noted that the labor
situation that restricted DRI production in Venezuela has eased and
that the Russian 30-euros tax on exported scrap could be lifted
Industry analyst Marcus, though, believes there are still overall
supply constraints that, coupled with a booming Chinese steel
industry, will make for a lack of steel furnace feedstock relative to
Marcus said that even though much of the new Chinese capacity consists
of blast furnaces, a shortage of iron ore capacity will cause buyers
at these mills to seek more scrap from an obsolete scrap reservoir
that is already straining to feed the world?s electric arc furnace
That shortage is already showing this year, by Marcus? calculations,
with a theoretical shortfall of 36 million metric tons of obsolete
scrap in the market in his ?most likely? scenario, followed by
shortages of 40 million metric tons next year, 45 million metric tons
in 2005 and 50 million tons by 2010.
We are in in the midst of historically high prices in ferrous scrap in the
US right now and will be for some time. Several factors are at work, as
previous posters have mentioned, high Chinese demand for scrap, a very tight
pig iron market and high ocean freight charges. I run an iron foundry in the
upper Midwest and my costs for both steel scrap and pig have gone through
On top of very high pricing and shortage of ferrous material, other material
pricing has become very volatile; nickel has become very expensive and may
get worse due to the strike at Falconbridge, copper, moly, manganese and
vanadium are up appreciably. The only material that has not gone up seems to
I deal in both the Chicago and Detroit markets and if you thought 4th
quarter 2003 and Jan. 2004 prices are high, my sources tell me you ain't
seen nothing yet!