Metal supply prices, tell how much you paid and where your located

So has anyone noticed how much steel has been going up here lately…its unbelievable!!!
Doubled in price in my area. Bought a sheet of 3/16 HR 48X96 in July for $85 and today it is $178. HOLY S%@&%T Batman…

The price last July appears very cheap, but the current price seems high. We don’t know where you are. Regionally prices can vary.

A few weeks back I paid $80 for 16ga 4x8 sheet. In December I paid $210 for 1/4” 4x10 sheet. Located in Nashville, TN from KGS. Last summer I did 15 4x8 sheets of 18ga for $60 each. You’ll go crazy trying to find patterns or rhyme or reason when comparing across the country.

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YES!!! The 11ga went form $140.00 to $180.00 plus some pennies. The 10ga went from $135.00 to $175.00 in Elkhart Ind.

We are looking at about 20% to 30% increase in the last yeat

Well folks yes the price of steel has gone nutso! Last summer i was paying $125 for a sheet of 11 ga Cold rolled but now the price is up to $4 bucks a square foot. Now i’m in Syracuse NY and life here has gone nuts due to COVID. Thank You CHINA !!!

You should be thanking the trade war tariffs. Despite anything you might have heard or read to the contrary, tariffs are not paid by countries or companies. That leaves you to foot the bill.


Prices are spiking to unsustainable peaks in 2021

Steel prices will spike in the first quarter but fall rapidly over the following months. All products are rising rapidly. Rapid construction and industrial recovery from COVID-19 lockdowns outpaced sluggish capacity restarts, so supply is temporarily tight. Mills have restarted in most regions, so shortages will not last and prices will retreat quickly over the second quarter.

Sheet prices are spiking in the United States at one of the fastest rates in history, despite ample (but idle) capacity. Despite the high prices, buyers should worry more about supply than price for the first quarter of 2021, but should avoid locking prices for the remainder of the year. Other products and regions have high prices for the first quarter of 2021 but are not experiencing shortages.

  • The buying advice for steel is “wait.” Prices spiked in the fourth quarter of 2020 and are carrying over into January. Prices are above fundamentals and will fall back in the second and third quarters. The exception is sheet, which is on allocation in the United States. Ensuring availability is more of a concern than price. Furnace restarts will alleviate supply and then price by the second quarter. Lead times are long in Europe but there is no allocation so far.
  • Downside risk is high if the second wave of COVID-19 grows worse. However, if manufacturing and construction are idled, then steel demand and prices will fall.
  • Upside risk from Australian cyclones is worth watching. Ore mines are at full capacity, so any disruption would be magnified. If cyclones disrupt delivery, ore would spike and with it, steel prices.

Bottom line: Steel forecast for 2021

We continue to hold that steel prices will peak globally in the first quarter of 2021 and then retreat. Sheet is on allocation in the United States and tight in Europe, so work to ensure supply even if you have to pay too much in first quarter 2021.
Global hot rolled steel prices

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This reinforces my “prices vary by region”. I paid $80 for 4x8 11ga last spring/summer and it was sheered into 8x 2x2 pieces included in price. So you still paid more when you thought it was cheaper. It’s tough to compare price unless you’re in the same city or general area.

Good info. Thanks.

Pre tariffs I was paying 56.00 for 16 gauge 4x10 CR US steel. Post tariffs I was paying 85.00. Haven’t bought any recently as my “Plasma art” is dead because of Covid.

Here’s some Dec '20 prices I posted from a few weeks ago for my area (SE US):

Price increases are a simple factor of supply vs demand, they have very little to do with tariffs.

72 Blast furnaces were idled due to the pandemic, only 30% of them have come back online.

26 alone in the U.S. with only 6 back online so far.

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@DemonChronicles I think that’s only true if you ignore the role of tariffs on supply. When you make imports prohibitively expensive, you distort the market by artificially constraining supply. If other factors also constrain supply, that effect is magnified.

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What you say is true… Tariffs do distort market pricing. From my perspective, it’s far better to give our US based Mills a change to come back online and not be swamped by cheap low grade steel dumped by China. Part of my sales pitch is going to be “Made in the USA”, so I’m counting on those steel sources to be back online with a cost competitive product.

There’s an interesting study out there on U.S. steel production showing the decline in mills & employment. It’s mirrored by gains in efficiency, productivity and robotics. Huge increases in robotics. Pre-pandemic production was demand constrained - either not enough demand or not enough at our prices (the cheap Chinese steel factor). For an awful lot of stuff, U.S. high quality steel is simply not needed (think about all the art & signs people here make for instance).

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I’m all for made in the US and in my case made in canada I always ask the supplier for US or canadian steel and for the most part I get it but the occaional Chinese tube or Indonesian piece of steel comes but whatever it works normally.
I can say tariffs don’t raise prices that much over the last few years when the US put tariffs on steel it brought the price up pennies per foot but now that Chinese and other steels aren’t coming in its going up dollars per foot sometimes double. You need that import stuff to keep home mills prices in check and that supply so its always there or prices sky rocket.
I get steel delivered every tuesday and its always different but normally $3k a week and tomorrows order is $5300 and its nothing out of the ordinary plus I couldn’t get some tubing that I needed I had to pay triple the price form a middle man.


Dude…wow…my ceo complains when I purchase $500 for some contracts…ouch…

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Next time your at your steel place get a price on some 1 5/8x0.95 chromoly tubing and some 1 3/4" and 2" .120 wall DOM you’ll have a stroke when you hear the price they want for a foot of it.

Five years ago you had to be a high roller to come in and ask for 2" 7075 machined aluminum links for your suspension but now with the price of thick walled DOM its really not that big of jump anymore. The thing with aluminum you can buy it by the inch so If you needed a 37" link you pay for 37" but DOM its all by the foot so your paying for 48" and it comes in all random lengths so the waste adds up and you end up with 2 bucks worth of scrap that costs $200.


is that tech talk for metal???..ahahahahaha

Metal porn. It’s the way it’s made. Its drawn over a mandrel so it’s very close to spec and welds are super on it. But the precision is expensive. Easier to pump it out like play-doh but then you get play-doh precision :grin: