AK Steel boosts prices after reports of U.S. Steel increases

Wed Feb 27, 2013 1:20pm EST

* U.S. Steel prices up $50 per short ton -Steel Market Update

* AK Steel boosts base prices for carbon flat-rolled steel

Feb 27 (Reuters) - AK Steel Holding Corp announced price increases on Wednesday, following reports that United States Steel Corp had boosted its own spot prices.

Dahlman Rose analyst Anthony Rizzuto said it is unusual for U.S. Steel to lead price increases in this way. He said the move should at least keep prices in the broader market from falling in the short term.

"The last time U.S. Steel was the first to move was in mid-October, when prices were in free fall," he wrote in a note to clients. "The move effectively marked the bottom, and list prices moved higher almost immediately."

Citing an internal memo, newsletter Steel Market Update said U.S. Steel had raised its base prices for all flat-rolled steel by at least $50 a short ton.

In a release, smaller rival AK Steel said its base prices for carbon flat-rolled steel would go up at least $50 per short ton for new orders. The West Chester, Ohio-based company did not give a reason for the increase.

The companies did not disclose their starting prices. Neither could immediately be reached for comment.

U.S. Steel shares were up 1.6 percent at $21.05 on the New York Stock Exchange. AK Steel rose 1.9 percent to $3.77.