U.S. hot-rolled coil purchasers were unable to shake off 2020 supply problems, market sources said Jan. 6.

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New year, same problems for US HRC purchasers

HRC index at over $1,000

The daily Platts TSI US HRC index rose 75 cents to $1,009.75/st, with higher offers for February and March production creeping into the market.

Supply problems from 2020 extend into the new year

It was not expected that the 2020 supply problems would suddenly disappear with the calendar change, but purchasers became increasingly uneasy with rising prices.

Scrap allegedly responsible for price hike

Sources shared that mills were citing rising scrap prices for higher finished steel prices.

Still, the sources said that even with the expected big increase in scrap prices in January, the near-record HRC prices still gave mini-steel mills big margins.

“It’s irrelevant what scrap makes” when mills are charging $1,100-1,200 for various steel products, one source said.

One large mini-mill offered HRC for $1,200 and initially said it had a premium because it was for accelerated production in February, according to a service center.

Source: spglobal.com

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