State of Steel - March 2021

Pricing, Lead Times, and Availability

The CRU index continues to rise and overall, we have seen a 61.4% increase in the steel index since the first week of December and a 105% increase since the first week of October 2020. Nucor Tubular and Atlas Tube have once again raised prices on HSS, pipe, mechanical, and piling products by yet another large increase of $125/ton in mid-March. All other structural tubing mills have followed suit. This kicks off the 11th round of price increases since August. With regards to mechanical tubing such as DOM and CDS, most mill pricing has increased 7 times for a total of 47-50% overall since the beginning of October 2020. Below is a current listing of all price increases on tubing that we have seen since late August of 2020. Evraz increased steel plate prices by $70/ton, effective immediately. SSAB followed suit two days later announcing an $80/ton price increase, effective immediately. These moves follow Nucor’s plate price increase last week. (Source: AMM)


DOM and CDS Price Increases Structural Tube Increases

Oct. 5th – 6% increase

Nov. 9th – 6% increase

Dec. 13th – 7% increase on OD’s below 4” &

10% increase on 4” OD and over

Jan. 4th – 5% increase

Jan. 24th – 10% increase

Feb. 1st – 7% increase

Feb. 23rd - 6% increase






Aug. 26th - $50/ton

Sept. 14th - $50/ton

Sept. 25th - $50/ton

Oct. 13th - $50/ton

Oct. 26th - $50/ton

Nov. 20th - $75/ton

Dec. 4th - $100/ton

Dec. 11th - $100/ton

Jan. 6th - $100/ton

Jan. 20th - $150/ton

Feb. 22nd - $50/ton

Mar. 10th - $125/ton

Understanding lead times for steel products are important to every participant in the supply chain. Lead times for steel products as of 2/6/21 are:

HRC lead times decreased slightly this week to 8.8 weeks versus an average of ~5.3 weeks since 2016. Meanwhile, CRC lead times are at 10.2 weeks, HDG lead times are at 11.2 weeks, and plate lead times are at 8.8 weeks. (Source: Platts)

Mechanical Tubing is 18-20 weeks given the availability of raw steel coils.

Structural Tubing mill lead times are running approximately 12-14 weeks upon receipt of order.

Dura-Bar Continuous Cast Iron mill lead times are approximately 2-4 weeks depending on size and grade. Pricing on all cast iron products is gradually increasing. This can be attributed to higher material surcharges.  

Metal Production

The week of February 22nd, US raw steel production increased 0.2% week-over-week to 1.75mt (-7.0% YoY). US capacity utilization was 77.2% vs 81.3% last year. This marks a significant improvement from the 51.1% capacity utilization low in early May 2020. YTD steel production is at 14.36mt (76.5% utilization) compared to 15.67mt (81.9% utilization) last year. (Source: AISI)

Global crude steel output increased by 4.8% year-over-year to 162.9 million tons in January 2021, marking the third consecutive monthly increase. (Source: AMM)


March scrap price settlements began to take form, with Detroit buyers agreeing to purchase shredded scrap at up $50/ton month-over-month (versus initial offers of $40/ton) and prime grades at up $70/ton month-over-month (unchanged from initial offers). (Source: AMM)

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