US Prime Scrap, HRC Spread Narrows Further

Written by Ethan Bernard

The spread between hot-rolled coil (HRC) and prime scrap prices continued to narrow this month, according to SMU’s most recent pricing data.

SMU’s average HRC price dropped this week along with the average price for busheling scrap this month.

Our HRC price stood at $690 per ton ($34.50 per cwt) as of Sept. 12, down $20 per ton from the previous week, and marking the lowest point for HRC prices so far this year.

Busheling tags tumbled $50 per gross ton in September vs. August to an average of $400 per gross ton. Figure 1 shows price histories for each product.

After converting scrap prices to dollars per net ton for an equal comparison, the differential between HRC and busheling scrap prices is $333 per net ton as of Sept. 14, down $60 from a month prior. (Figure 2). This is the narrowest spread since January.

By the way, did you know our Interactive Pricing Tool has the capability to show steel and scrap prices in dollars per net ton, dollars per metric ton, and dollars per gross ton?

Figure 3 explores this relationship in a different way – we have graphed HRC’s premium over busheling scrap as a percentage. HRC prices now carry a 73% premium over prime scrap, down from 77% a month ago.

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