Higher -- and Scarcer

A movement that sounded like another stiff price boost in steel got started quietly last week. Blaming increases in the cost of processing, Detroit's Great Lakes Steel Corp. raised its "extra charges" (i.e., for size adjustments, heat treating, pickling, etc.) on hot-rolled sheet and strip steel by $3 to $15 a ton. Next day U.S. Steel boosted its prices on alloys, and Allegheny-Ludlum said that it would charge more for "several of our special grades."

Both Big Steel and Allegheny-Ludlum said that the bulk of their production would not be affected. But the boost in sheet and strip, which are...

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