Domestic & Import Pipe
Domestic ERW and seamless mills have announced significant increases on all tubular prices. Most foreign mills have moved production to OCTG and are not quoting standard and line pipe below 10 in. With this along with rising U.S. rig counts and global HRC prices up over $200 per ton, both domestic and import steel prices are expected to increase.
Welding Fittings & Flanges
Inventory levels remain high in the supply chain, but there are signals that some holes are appearing on some AMLs. Pricing has remained stable, but the trend suggests to be up on flanges. Demand for both carbon-steel BW fittings and flanges remains low with expectations for increased demand beginning between the first and second quarters of 2017. The Baker Hughes North American Rotary Rig Count as of Dec. 30, 2016, showed a U.S. increase of five over the previous week, but Canada declined 67. Crude has remained above the $50 mark since OPEC production cuts were announced, and the supply of crude oil still exceeds current demand levels.
Forged Steel Fittings
The outlook for 1Q2017 remains flat. Pricing has been stable for an extended period of time, and there is a sufficient supply of both import and domestic fittings in the market. Import lead times are favorable and consistent, lending to strong supply. There is more stability and activity in the oil field; however, not enough to affect pricing. Other key markets, such as the industrial segment, are gaining momentum but have not hit historic levels. Both manufacturers and distributors are competing for a smaller piece of available market share creating very competitive conditions.
G20 forms global forum on steel excess capacity
A Global Forum on Steel Excess Capacity has been formed by the Group of 20 (G20) global economic powers, aimed at finding solutions to the worldwide global steel supply glut. The group held its first meeting on Dec. 14. A joint statement by U.S. Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker and U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman said, "We encourage the Global Forum members to move quickly to exchange information and take effective steps to deal with the root causes of excess capacity, including market-distorting support measures."
ITC to review USS 337 claim
The U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) will take another look at possibly reinstating U.S. Steel’s Section 337 antitrust claims against Chinese steel imports, which the ITC shot down in mid-November. After reviewing written submissions due Jan. 17, the ITC will determine if an oral hearing is warranted.