Steel Blog

Big River Steel Closes on Financing

Thursday, August 24, 2017 5:37 PM Written by
Published in Big River Steel

More than a billion dollars of financing is headed to Big River Steel. The Osceola, Ark., steel company announced Thursday that it has closed on $1.225 billion of financing that will be used to refinance a substantial majority of its outstanding debt and for general corporate and working capital purposes.

Poll Finds Most Americans Have Pragmatic View of NAFTA

Thursday, August 24, 2017 3:39 PM Written by
Published in World Economy

Many Americans see the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) as a contributing factor to the growth of the U.S. economy over the past 20 years and believe the focus of the NAFTA negotiations should be on modernizing the agreement, not withdrawing from it, according to a survey of 2,000 U.S. adults commissioned by Livingston International Inc. and conducted online by Harris Poll.

Though it is often portrayed as a bad deal for their country, data from the survey indicate Americans seem to have put the trade deal in context with the broader changes that have taken place in the economy and do not seem to single it out as a principal cause of economic adversity.

Two Promotions at Olympic Steel

Monday, August 21, 2017 4:15 PM Written by
Published in Olympic Steel

Olympic Steel announced the promotion of Terry Rohde to Director of Operations. Rhode began his career at Olympic Steel in 2008 and was promoted to General Manager of the Chicago division in 2008. In his new role he will responsible for all of Olympic Steel's facilities and equipment.

Zinc Prices at 10-Year High

Monday, August 21, 2017 3:12 PM Written by
Published in Zinc

Zinc prices hit a 10-year high this past week, climbing to $3,000 per metric ton ($1.36 per pound) on the London Metal Exchange on Wednesday. By Monday, zinc had risen to $1.41 per pound. Strong global demand and shrinking inventory boosted prices, as well as a shortage of Chinese zinc.

The primary use of zinc is for the production of coated steels such as galvanized and Galvalume. A surge in zinc prices could have an impact on the coating extras used by steel mills across the world. Higher zinc prices means higher costs to apply zinc to steel.

Environmental inspections have shut down 60 percent of zinc mines in China for one month, further reducing constrained supply caused by capacity reductions at Swiss-based miner Glencore. Glencore idled one-third of its zinc capacity in October 2015. Nearly 500,000 metric tons of zinc were removed from the market, pushing prices up by more than 90 percent.

Thirty-Six States Add Jobs, Infrastructure Spending's Weak

Friday, August 18, 2017 7:10 PM Written by
Published in Economy

Thirty-six states and the District of Columbia added construction jobs in the year between July 2016 and July 2017, yet only half the states added construction jobs in the month between June and July of this year amid declining public-sector investments in infrastructure and other construction projects, reports the Associated General Contractors of America in an analysis of Labor Department data.

Firms in parts of the country that build infrastructure projects are seeing less demand for their services amid overall declines in public-sector spending. "Despite growing private-sector demand, it appears that construction employment in some parts of the country is being brought down by declining public-sector investments," said Ken Simonson, chief economist for the association. "Some of these declines will be offset thanks to recently enacted state infrastructure funding increases, but stagnant federal investments are not helping."

SMU Steel Summit Conference is Sold Out

Friday, August 18, 2017 2:34 PM Written by

For the first time since Steel Market Update began hosting the SMU Steel Summit Conferences, we have officially sold out the August 28-30, 2017 Conference.

This year’s conference, which is our 7th, will be the best attended as we host more than 600 manufacturing, steel service centers, steel mills, trading companies and toll processors as well as executives from companies associated with those industries.

The conference has an international flair this year with companies attending from England, Poland, Ecuador, Mexico, Egypt, Turkey, Japan, Canada and the United States.

The response to this year’s SMU Steel Summit Conference has been overwhelming. So much so that we will close registrations as of the end of business on Friday, Aug. 18. As of Thursday morning, we had less than 10 seats remaining to be sold before we reached a standing room only situation.

The conference will be officially sold out for the first time in our seven-year history.

Advanced High Strength—Wood?

Thursday, August 17, 2017 1:56 PM Written by
Published in Automotive

The "woodie" automobile, popular in the 1940s and '50s, may be on its way back, but in a seriously different mode.

Japanese researchers are developing the latest challenge to automotive steel, a super-strength, lightweight product that uses wood as a raw material. Cellulose nanofiber, made from wood pulp, is mixed into plastics forming a product that is one-fifth the weight of steel and five times as strong, according to researchers at Kyoto University.

Nucor Announces $30 Increase on Flat Rolled

Tuesday, August 15, 2017 6:15 PM Written by

The Nucor Sheet Mill Group, which handles flat rolled products, announced a minimum of $30 per ton ($1.50/cwt) price increase on hot rolled, cold rolled and galvanized steel products. The increases are to go in effect immediately, according to the letter emailed to the Nucor customer base this afternoon.

Commerce Depends on Nation’s Trucks

Tuesday, August 15, 2017 3:46 PM Written by
Published in Truck

Trucking industry revenues hit $676.2 billion in 2016, nearly 80 percent of the nation’s total freight bill, reports the American Trucking Associations in the trade group’s just released “ATA American Trucking Trends 2017” report.