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March 16, 2018

 

To All Our Distributors:

We have been informing you since the first of the year that prices would be increasing, but we first had to digest all of the dynamics that were swirling around the steel industry. Now that we have finally seen exactly what is happening, especially concerning the 232 National Security tariff, we can tell you that Weldbend is raising prices effective Sunday, March 18, 2018, with the issuance of Price Sheet #318. The discount remains the same. The increases will be on both fittings and flanges. We consider these increases to be modest price increases, especially taking into consideration that our industry has not had a price increase since, I believe, August of 2008.

As I write this, I have been informed by steel suppliers that this might not be the only increase in the very near future. We have already received increases in steel that were not taken into consideration when we started to figure our new Price Sheet #318. We have already seen billet steel prices for flanges go up 5-6% in March and they are expected to go up another 5 or 6% in April. Billets are used in the making of flanges. Pipe used in the manufacture of fittings has gone up about 12-1/2% this week alone. Both of these products (billet and pipe) are covered under the 232 tariff. There initially was talk of trade wars, but now there is just talk of trade disputes. Time will tell, but I believe that even though the 232 tariff has not affected the carbon steel fitting or flange industry directly, I think we will get some of the spillover, causing tighter supplies and higher prices in both fittings and flanges. Domestic manufacturers are still your best bet for quality material and a continued steady supply of both fittings and flanges.

 

James J. Coulas, Jr.
President

 

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