Line pipe prices appear to have halted their upward trend for the time being, Steel Business Briefing learns.
Small-diameter pipe destined for natural gas transmission systems, in particular, has fallen short of expectations, according to one market observer in the middle south region of the US.
An early June price hike by TMK Ipsco of $100/short ton for diameters 16-inches and below looks especially precarious, he said.
“A lot of this is because gas prices right now are not booming as (pipe market participants) thought they would maybe a year ago,” he said. “It just has people a little bit hesitant.”
SBB reported line pipe prices widely scattered in early June, with ERW product below 16-inches selling in a range of $1,100-1,340/s.t, fob mill.
Seamless prices were likewise widespread at about $1,500-2,000/s.t, depending on grade and diameter.
A distributor in the southern US said he doesn’t feel a line pipe increase is warranted at the moment as raw materials flatline and demand remains difficult to predict.
“It all kind of gears to what OCTG is going to do,” he said. “And we don’t really know what OCTG is going to do.”