Service Centers

Metalformers Report Higher Prices and Extended Lead Times

Written by Sandy Williams

Metalforming companies in the U.S. and Canada are expecting business conditions to decline slightly in the next three months as tariffs take hold and steel prices and lead times increase. 

The latest Precision Metalforming Association Business Conditions report sampled 112 metalforming companies and found that 31 percent of participants forecast an improvement in economic activity during the next three months (down from 42 percent in April) and 65 percent expect no change (up from 52 percent last month). Metalformers also expect incoming orders to decrease in the coming months.

Survey participants reported that current average shipping levels declined slightly in May. No companies reported workers on short time or layoffs this month compared with 2 percent in April and 5 percent in May of 2017.

“PMA members are feeling the pain of the Section 232 steel and aluminum tariffs, which already are having negative consequences for U.S. manufacturers,” said PMA President Roy Hardy. “The tariffs are effectively taxes that put our members and other steel- and aluminum-using U.S. manufacturers at a disadvantage to manufacturers outside the United States. Our members are seeing steel-price spikes of more than 30 to 40 percent and lead times that are doubling or even tripling. These tariffs are not the way to grow manufacturing in the United States and PMA is working to convince Washington to terminate these tariffs as soon as possible.”

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