Most of the integrated mills are full for March on Cold Rolled. We were busy rushing our March orders to the likes of AK and Severstal yesterday. Mittal is currently on lead times but everything I hear tells me that they are full for March. USST is still a questions mark. Have heard that their larger mills(like US Gary) are already closed for march but a couple of their lesser sized regional mills still have a small amount of capacity for March(Mon Valley). Severcorr is another one with a big question mark as well….
In regards to the Mini mills, I have not heard a lot about SDI lead times or about them being aggressive in the Cold Rolled market lately, and Nucor I believe may still have some late March tons available, but those are likely to be dried up soon. Like next week, if not already full.
The Mini mills still have some late February availability. It appears that the Integrated mills are all pretty much into March for Hot rolled starting with orders entered next week. Mittal with a couple recent inquiries said late March and even April for some specific grades with recent inquiries….Hot Rolled is a little confusing simply due to the Integrated mills having the ability to stop producing slab orders to take push in HR coil orders.
The mills are doing everything that they can to get prices up for March by $2.00/cwt….will be real interesting to see where we are with demand in 30 days…if the demand holds, then we can all be assured that some of these proposed increases will stick.
Bottom line is that you should be looking at your March hot rolled and April Cold Rolled needs now, and don’t be surprised if we hear price increase announcements soon for March orders.