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US cold-rolled coil, hot-dipped galvanized steel sheet prices continue to slide

Houston — US prices for cold-rolled coil and hot-dipped galvanized sheet prices continued to drop Monday amid more year-end buying and wide offer ranges.

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The daily Platts TSI CRC assessment dropped by $7 to $907.25/st, while the weekly Platts TSI HDG assessment fell by $14 to $980.50/st from last week, including the coating extra.

The Platts TSI HDG assessment includes a G90 coating weight extra, adding approximately $80/st to base prices.

The spread between cold-rolled coil and HDG base prices to hot-rolled coil narrowed, with the daily Platts TSI HRC assessment remaining unchanged from Friday at $821.50/st.

One buy-side source indicated that the spread between the two value-added products had almost completely collapsed when compared to HRC. However, he noted low-end prices of $840/st for CRC and HDG bases weren't widespread. "I have a problem saying that is the spot market because that is the deal market," the buyer added.

The low-end offers were not considered a spot number a buyer could find from most mills with an inquiry of a few hundred tons, according to the buyer. Most mills were attempting to keep base price offers at $900/st and above for CRC and HDG.

Mills were still trying to push HRC at $800-$830/st. The buy-side source said he realized an order over 1,000 st would be able to break the $800/st barrier easily with multiple mills.

There was not "much of a spread" between CRC, HDG and HRC, according to a service center source. He indicated tradable spot HRC levels of $800-$820/st, with CRC and HDG base prices at $840-$880/st.

The market was close to bottoming out, according to a mill source. He indicated most spot HRC prices were around $800/st, give or take $20/st. There was still the possibility to buy as low as $760/st in certain circumstances if the tonnage was sufficient and fit a mill's order book, he added.

Conditions were typical of the end of the year, the mill source said. He noted the run ups over the past three years that had started in the fourth quarter were driven by external factors such as the sheet trade cases. In addition, the end of 2017 was also impacted by Section 232 tariffs, where buyers were "trying to outguess Washington."

The combined Platts TSI price uses a volume-weighted average calculation -- according to TSI's standard -- to determine value on an ex-works Indiana basis.

--Michael Fitzgerald, michael.fitzgerald@spglobal.com

--Edited by Pankti Mehta, pankti.mehta1@spglobal.com