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US HR Steel plates sales remain stable at a moderate level: MEPS

Hot rolled steel plate sales in the United States are stable at a moderate level, said MEPS International.

According to MEPS, aggressive price offers from various suppliers, including European mills, have been reported. Domestic discrete plate producers have announced a 2 cents per pound basis price hike, to be applied to sales from 1 October.

Business activity, for stainless cold rolled coil, has been good through the summer. Sales volumes in September have improved, after a slow start. There have been commissioning difficulties at the new Outokumpu rolling mill in Alabama. When it is up to speed, it will add to the competition in the North American market, where Far Eastern steelmakers are already trying to sell some of their excess production.

Stainless steel bar sales volumes are at a satisfactory level. Demand for commodity grades is poor but more specialist products, such as those used in aerospace, automotive and energy applications, are selling well. Inventories at services centres are low. Small price fluctuations are not expected to encourage any speculative buying, MEPS added.