Carbon steel report: March 2018
Carbon steel pipe has seen unprecedented increases over the past three weeks. The president’s announcement of a tariff on imported steel products has caused an immediate increase of at least 25% on all imported steel pipe. Domestic product has seen increases ranging from 22% to 60% depending on size.
Hot rolled coil (HRC) is climbing and currently trading at close to $900/ton with many experts predicting prices north of $1,000/ton in the near future. The result is that mills only are working with long-standing customers and lead times are growing, creating shortages on some sizes with more to come.
If and when the Trump administration starts the process of exempting countries or products from the tariff, we could see some relief.
Welded Fittings & Flanges
The markets are experiencing price increases, including a major domestic manufacturer having raised prices on carbon steel BW fittings and flanges effective March 18. Prices have increased about 10%. Raw material prices already have begun increasing as a result of Section 232 tariffs being enacted. Supplies of carbon steel BW fittings remain adequate, but carbon flanges under 12” are tighter.
Forged Steel Fittings
At the time of this writing, a large domestic manufacturer had just put through its second list price change of the year effective March 18. This change represented a 10% percent increase in forged steel pricing. Raw material pricing increases on special bar quality (SBQ) and strong demand are driving the increases. The energy sector remains busy as well as industrial driving the strong demand. Import product still is scarce due to dumping lawsuits and there is potential for inventory voids throughout the supply chain.
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