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Domestic US rebar prices holding for now, import prices move lower

Pittsburgh — US domestic rebar price levels were stable Friday as import price levels continued to become increasingly competitive, according to market sources.

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The weekly S&P Global Platts rebar import price declined to $590/st Friday, down $30/st from the previous week, while the S&P Global Platts weekly Southeast US rebar assessment and Platts' weekly Midwest US rebar assessment were both unchanged on week at $630-$660/st.

Market sources reported at least 15,000 mt of rebar was bound for the US from Turkey at $590/st DDP Houston. Many believe mills will become more aggressive in an effort to maintain market share.

"It's not a time to go long in my opinion, despite some of the previous indications. I bet we'll see a $20 concession inside three weeks and then another $20 concession inside of six weeks," a Southeast buyer said.

"I'm hearing down $20 or $30 for September. Obviously I'm going to hold off on buying right now," agreed a Midwest buyer.

Any talk of potential mill price increases following US scrap prices rising in August for the first time in four months has subsided as import offers continue to move lower and bullish sentiment has begun to fade again in the scrap market.

"Everybody is back in the mode that there won't be a price increase, the $20/lt [August scrap increase] isn't going [to] cause a bump from what we're seeing," said another Midwest buyer. His expectation for the US rebar market heading into Q4 was a soft-sideways for the rest of the year.

"It's not any great demand, we're seeing mills being a little more aggressive very gradually," said another Southeast buyer.

-- Joe Eckelman, joe.eckelman@spglobal.com

-- Edited by Justine Coyne, newsdesk@spglobal.com