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Analysis: US flat-rolled steel coil lead times extend but plate retracts

Washington DC — US flat-rolled coil lead times increased on Wednesday while plate lead times shrunk, according to S&P Global Platts data.

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Average US hot-rolled coil lead times moved out by 0.3 to an average of 4.4 weeks from the past week. Lead times for HRC have averaged more than four weeks for the past two weeks after struggling to extend through the start of the year. Hot-dipped galvanized lead times jumped out 0.8 week to average 7.5 weeks while cold-rolled coil lead times extended by 0.2 week to 5.9 weeks.

The longer lead times come as mills look to support $40/st price increase announcements made last week. Sheet prices have yet to gain much traction with the mill hikes, with the daily Platts TSI US HRC assessment falling by $2.75/st to $681/st on an ex-works Midwest basis Wednesday.

Plate lead times continued to soften, falling for the sixth consecutive week. Average as-rolled plate lead times fell by 0.4 week to 5.9 weeks.

-- Michael Fitzgerald,

-- Joniel Cha,

-- Edited by Richard Rubin,