Steel prices trending upward

Steel prices are rising again, according to the recently released producer price indexes from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The price of carbon steel scrap rose 24.5% in the past quarter (August to November). Carbon steel prices fell 42% in the first half of 2005, moving from an index of 324.5 in January to an index of 189.1 in June. However, in November, the index climbed all the way back to 320.2 — nearly the same level as January.

As of November, other steel prices also were starting to increase. Hot-rolled sheet and strip prices were up 20.9% from August. They were still down 15.3% from November 2004, indicating that the market was volatile in the past three months. Prices for steel bars/plates/shapes and pipes/tubes were still stable as of November.

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