Despite increased notices and talk of Section 232 announcements, this panel of writers has seen a carbon steel market that has remained flat to-date. Inventory levels are up, in many cases, and the demand does not justify increases at this time. It is reasonable to anticipate pricing to remain flat over 1Q18 and 2Q18. The exception is likely Korean and other select imports that will realistically see an increase of about 10% midyear with a focus on larger diameter.
Welded Fittings & Flanges
Pricing has stabilized after rising sharply immediately following the anti-dumping lawsuits filed. Pricing is flat as the market awaits the decision on dumping. Most polled expect the decision to be favorable to U.S. manufacturers, which would likely result in price increases and longer lead times.
Forged Steel Fittings
Dumping lawsuits on imports from China, Italy and Taiwan have caused a sharp increase on import pricing. For the time being, one of the largest import manufacturers has stopped shipping to the United States. Large importers are looking for their next source and there are short-term concerns about material availability until new sourcing is found. Activity is strong in industrial markets, specifically oil, which consumes large quantities of forged steel fittings. Domestic manufacturers are operating near full capacity.
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