Hot rolled coil (HRC) prices in the United States have declined for the first time since mid-August 2020, when prices hit a low of $ 450 per short tonne and then peaked at $ 1,200 per tonne in January 2021.
Argus Weekly US Domestic HRC Index fell $ 40 to $ 1,160 ex-factory in the Midwest last week. Lead times continued to shrink from 7-8 weeks to 6-8 weeks.
Prices fell due to slowdown in trading activity, and few buyers were willing to buy expensive steel due to uncertainty about future prices.
Many market participants agreed that supply problems still prevail in the market as supplies to the mills are still lagging behind and there are no available spot tonnes on the market.
Inventories at service centers have remained low and many have been unable to replenish their assortment in the past few months due to rapid price increases and supply shortages.
Despite the drop this week, the HRC price in the US is still more than double its price of $ 450 per tonne on Aug.11.
American steelmakers are expected to try to make life difficult for consumers by shutting down some of their steel and rolling facilities, creating additional shortages in the market.
Whether or not manufacturers will be able to continue the rise in prices is unknown, since prices for scrap of ferrous metals in the United States continued to decline last week.