Reversing mill plate prices have strengthened since the holidays, with delivery lead times extending to five/six weeks. End-user demand is steady. Distributors and fabricators are enjoying brisk activity levels.
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US mills’ proposals for higher transaction values for cold rolled coil have succeeded. Selling prices firmed by approximately 3 percent in January, month on month, continuing the positive tendency. Forecasts for 2012 auto sales are encouraging and coated steel demand from that sector remains buoyant. The price advances planned for January were accepted, with mills signalling further hikes for February.
An upturn in US steel consumption is envisaged for the first two quarters of this year. Higher raw material expenditure should also add to the upward movement in selling figures in this period.