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US sheet prices hold as mills wait for buyers to return to market

News Source:http://www.jinchemical.com/ ; SendDate:2018-9-30 13:56:44 

Pittsburgh-US flat-rolled steel prices were largely stable to end the week Friday amid another week of lackluster buying, according to market feedback.

The daily Platts TSI US hot-rolled coil assessment was calculated at $849.25/st, unchanged from Thursday, while the daily Platts TSI US cold-rolled coil assessment moved $1.25/st higher Friday to $946.50/st.

Despite a dearth of buying activity as customers wait to see if prices move lower, inquiry activity was said to be higher during the week.

"Inquiry activity remains high, with buyers still reluctant to pull the trigger on buying only because they are trying to time the market to the lowest point," a US mill source said.

To date, US HRC prices have fallen by roughly $70/st since hitting a peak of $920/st in early July, while US CRC prices are down roughly $80/st since hitting a peak of $1,025/st in May.

Speculation among buyers that the market may be at bottom picked up this week, with a number of sources indicating they will likely return to the spot market in October.

As buyers return, it's likely prices could see some upside, the mill source said. Additionally, with scrap prices expected to rise $10-$20/lt in October, it could help push sheet prices higher, he added.

"Most customers we are talking to freely admit that they agree that prices are going to go up very soon," he said.

The combined Platts TSI price index uses a volume-weighted average calculation -- according to TSI's standard -- to determine value on an ex-works Indiana basis.

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