Steel Blog

Essar Steel Minnesota Goes to Chippewa Capital in Auction

Thursday, April 27, 2017 7:25 PM Written by
Published in Iron Ore

Essar Steel Minnesota was awarded to billionaire Tom Clarke for $550 million at an auction on Wednesday. Clarke’s group Chippewa Capital Partners, which previously purchased Magnetation, plans to merge Essar Steel Minnesota, now called Mesabi Metallics, with Magnetation and finish the $1.9 taconite pellet plant at the Essar site.


Is the newly initiated Section 232 the Black Swan event that will remove steel supply from the market and tip the balance of supply/demand in favor of the domestic steel mills, thus pushing prices to levels not seen since 2008? There should not be any doubt that the make-up of the Trump Administration, coupled with the legal abilities assigned to the Executive Branch as it relates to trade, means change is coming and it will impact the steel and manufacturing industries.

Steel Market Update does not know exactly what items or what countries will be impacted by the Section 232 investigation as well as any other actions that can be taken by the Administration (Section 201, circumvention ruling, Section 337, future antidumping and countervailing duties which can be “self-initiated” by the US Department of Commerce).

It is our opinion that the Trump Administration could very well conduct “shock and awe” rulings regarding imported steel. They have proven they are not worried about potential downstream costs when earlier this week they ruled against Canadian soft wood companies who now must pay duties up to 24 percent. Canadian companies ship $5.6 billion worth of wood and wood products to the United States on a yearly basis. You would think we would treat Canada a little better than we would Vietnam or Brazil.

Cowen & Company and their research group Cowen Washington Research Group put out an interesting analysis on the ability of the Trump Administration to affect the steel industry. Buyers and sellers of steel need to appreciate the ability of the Trump Administration to impact the industry and to become, in effect, the next Black Swan Event, which will drive steel prices by controlling foreign steel supply.


AK Steel reported net income of $62.5 million for its best first quarter since 2008. Shipments declined to 1,486,900 tons year-over-year due to intentionally reduced sales of lower margin products. Net sales increased one percent from Q1 2016 to $1.53 billion as a result of increases in average selling price on both spot and contract sales, higher specialty steel surcharges, and improved product mix. Average selling price per ton increased 12 percent to $1,022 from a year ago.


Two important Federal Reserve reports on manufacturing came out this week from Dallas and Richmond.

The Dallas Federal Reserve reports that growth in the manufacturing sector continued for the tenth consecutive month but at a slower pace in April.


AIIS Expresses ‘Concern’ about Steel Imports Investigation

Sunday, April 23, 2017 7:22 PM Written by
Published in Exports

The following is a press release on US steel imports from the American Institute for International Steel (AIIS):

Falls Church, VA. April 20, 2017. AIIS President Richard Chriss said his association is “concerned about the nature and scope of this investigation,” which, he said, should not be used as a basis to shield domestic manufacturers from fair price competition.


Raw Material Prices: Iron Ore, Scrap, Coking Coal, & Zinc

Sunday, April 23, 2017 1:09 AM Written by
Published in Commodities

This article covers iron ore, steel scrap, coking coal, and zinc spot prices. In this article, author Peter Wright reviews some of the key commodities and provides correlations that we believe our readers should be aware of and take into consideration when buying or selling steel. This data is normally reserved for our Premium level members but we decided to share it with our entire membership. This piece combines our own data analysis with recently published opinions that we find credible and is updated through April 23, 2017.


Construction Employment Increases in 39 States

Friday, April 21, 2017 7:10 PM Written by
Published in Construction

The Associated of General Contractors of America (AGC) construction employment report from April 21, 2017 is reprinted below.

Construction employment increases in 39 states over past 12 months; 17 states add jobs in march following early hiring during mild winter

California and Oregon Add Most Jobs for the Year; Illinois and Mississippi Have Largest Declines; New Mexico and California Top Monthly List; Alaska and Illinois Have Biggest Month-to-Month Drops


AIIS Expresses ‘Concern’ about Steel Imports Investigation

Friday, April 21, 2017 3:19 PM Written by
Published in Exports

The following is a press release on US steel imports from the American Institute for International Steel (AIIS):

Falls Church, VA. April 20, 2017. AIIS President Richard Chriss said his association is “concerned about the nature and scope of this investigation,” which, he said, should not be used as a basis to shield domestic manufacturers from fair price competition.


Steel Market Update (SMU) conducts special steel training workshops all across the country. Our Steel 101 workshop is especially popular as we would with those new to the industry, employees moving to a new position or for executives coming from another industry.

Steel Market Update’s next Steel 101: Introduction to Steel Making & Market Fundamentals Workshop will be held in Ontario, California on June 22-23, 2017. The two day session will include a tour of the California Steel Industries steel mill.


ArcelorMittal Global Research and Development, working in cooperation with US safety barrier manufacturer Gregory Industries, has developed a new, proprietary high-containment steel center median safety barrier for use in North America.

The new barrier is able to safely contain and redirect a fully loaded 79,000 pound tractor trailer truck, a quad cab pickup truck, and a mid-size car.  It is the first Methods for Assessing Safety Hardware (MASH) Test Level-5 (TL-5) rated steel center median safety barrier developed for the US market.  It is safer for vehicle occupants and a cost effective alternative to concrete cast in-place barriers.


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