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US producers hike wire rod prices by $30/st

Highlights

Increases announced despite lower scrap prices for August

Other US producers expected to follow amid firm market conditions

Nucor plans to raise wire rod prices in the US, according to a letter sent to customers.

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The steelmaker kicked off the new round of price increases late in the day Aug. 10, issuing a $30/st increase on all wire rod transaction prices. The price hike was effective with new orders.

Wire rod diameters below 0.25 inch remained subject to a $20/st size extra. Existing orders shipped by Aug. 31 would be price-protected, according to the letter.

Liberty Steel and Commercial Metals Co. followed with $30/st increases on all wire rod products Aug. 11. Liberty's increase was effective with shipments Sept. 1, while CMC's increase was effective with new orders Aug. 11.

The moves mark the 10th round of wire rod price increases since September 2020 and were announced in the wake of the August scrap buy, which saw shredded scrap prices move $20/lt lower.

While wire rod prices have historically largely tracked scrap prices, tight domestic supply and persisting strong demand have enabled US rod mills to raise prices on a near-monthly basis in 2021 despite fluctuating scrap prices.

"At this point, I expect everyone to follow any increase that's put out," a distributor said after the announcement. "There just isn't enough availability to support demand."

A buyer shared the sentiment, noting that he had expected the increase as mills had no reason to keep prices unchanged amid current market conditions. One of his suppliers had already informed customers that it intended to follow the increase.

S&P Global Platts' latest weekly wire rod assessment was $1,100-$1,130/st Aug. 6.