No Windfall from Storm, Says Steelmaker

Written by Tim Triplett

ArcelorMittal is not expecting a big bump in business anytime soon due to the hurricane damage in Texas and the Southeast. “That will take a while to pass through,” said Wendell Carter, vice president and general manager of the steelmaker’s Indiana Harbor mill. Carter responded to questions during a media tour of the East Chicago, Ind., mill on Wednesday.

Residential construction materials will see an effect from the storms well before steel, he predicted, even though an estimated 500,000 cars and trucks were destroyed by storm water in Houston alone. “People will focus on the necessities of getting back into their homes. They will cover their basic needs first before they replace their vehicles. If they had multiple vehicles, they will get by with one for a while.”

Record rains from Hurricane Harvey caused extensive flooding and water damage in Texas. High winds from Hurricane Irma did more damage to structures and infrastructure. Carter expects more immediate demand for steel construction products, such as studs and metal roofing, in Florida. “We will get some of that business with infrastructure replacement,” he said. “Vehicle-wise, I don’t look for it to be a windfall [for steel] on an immediate basis.”

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