Steel Blog

Construction Employment Increases in May

Tuesday, June 27, 2017 11:44 PM Written by
Published in Construction

In the year between May 2016 and May 2017, construction employment increased in 243 of 358 metro areas, according to data from the Associated General Contractors of America. The press release from AGC follows:

Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario, Calif., and Lake Charles, La. Have Largest Year-over-Year Gains; Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land, Texas, and Danville, Ill., Experience Biggest Declines for the Year

Construction employment increased in 243 out of 358 metro areas between May 2016 and May 2017, declined in 59 and stagnated in 54, according to a new analysis of federal employment data released by the Associated General Contractors of America. Association officials noted that construction employment gains in many parts of the country are occurring even as most firms report having a hard time finding qualified workers to hire.


Section 232: Fear is Like Blood in the Water…

Wednesday, June 28, 2017 12:51 PM Written by
Published in Trade Cases

Steel Market Update (SMU) Publisher John Packard and Executive Editor Tim Triplett were in New York City over the past two days meeting with manufacturing companies, service centers, steel mills, trading companies and members of the financial community associated with the steel industry. We found the first words off of everyone’s lips were “what do you think about Section 232?”

The short answer is no one knows exactly what the recommendation will be from the Department of Commerce to President Trump, but the industry believes there will be consequences associated with whatever the Wilbur Ross team recommends.

On Monday evening, we participated in a steel industry dinner hosted by Bank of America Merrill Lynch metals and mining analyst Timna Tanners. The room was full of steel people and members of the financial community who invest in steel and related stocks.

The vast majority of the steel people in the room said they believe the ultimate decision will impact a large swath of the steel industry. The expectation is for some kind of quota and tariff system. When the quota is reached, then a tariff considered large enough to act as a deterrent would kick in.


On Thursday and Friday of this past week Steel Market Update conducted our 21st Steel 101: Introduction to Steel Making & Market Fundamentals workshop. Since our first workshop held in Houston, Texas on April 11, 2011 we have seen 380 individuals go through our program. The vast majority are still associated with the industry and doing well in a wide range of industry occupations including, but not limited to, customer service, sales, purchasing, logistics and senior management positions.

SMU conducted a steel training workshop last week in concert with California Steel Industries in Fontana, Calif., not too far from downtown Los Angeles. Our group toured the flat rolled mill and pipe producer on Thursday morning. This was the second tour by a SMU Steel 101 group of the CSI facility over the past five years. The mill was very hospitable as we viewed their two reheat furnaces, hot strip mill (HSM), pickle mill, cold rolled mill and #2 galvanizing mill. We also got an opportunity to view their new pipe mill, which is capable of producing 24-inch diameter line pipe for the oil, water and natural gas industries.


The Association of General Contractors applauded the passage on Thursday of the Perkins Act legislation that will help create programs to train a new generation of construction workers.

The chief executive officer of the AGC, Stephen E. Sandherr, issued the following statement in response to the Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the 21st Century Act passed in the U.S. House of Representatives today:


Mill Steel Co., one of the nation's largest distributors of flat-rolled carbon steel, expanded its operations and geographic presence with the opening of a new facility in Houston.

The Texas location is now operational with slitting and cut-to-length capabilities in the 100,000-square-foot facility. This premier building houses three production lines with the capability of slitting 50,000 pound master coils up to 60 inches wide and 0.015-0.250 inch thick. The company plans to add additional production lines in the near future. With these aggressive expansion plans, this will become one of Mill Steel's flagship service centers.


With registrations quickly approaching last year's total (434) we expect the 2017 edition of the SMU Steel Summit Conference to reach record attendence by the end of this week. We have 194 companies registered, if your company is not yet on the list below or, if you know you are not yet registered for our 7th SMU Steel Summit Conference please click on the link here or go to our website for more details: www.SteelMarketUpdate.com/Events/Steel-Summit. We have also provided registration links at the end of this article.


Plate Mills SSAB, Nucor & ArcelorMittal Raise Plate Prices Up $30

Saturday, June 17, 2017 2:52 PM Written by
Published in Plate

On Friday, June 16th SSAB Americas became the third U.S. plate-producing steel mill to announce a $30 per ton ($1.50/cwt) plate price increase. As with the announcements made by Nucor and ArcelorMittal earlier in the week SSAB made the increase effective immediately on transaction (spot) pricing.


On Friday, June 16, 2017 USS/POSCO Industries (UPI) located in Pittsburgh, California increased flat rolled steel prices by $50 per ton ($2.50/cwt). The steel price increases were to go into effect “immediately.”


The Associated General Contractors of America report that that construction firms are still struggling to find workers to fill construction positions. AGC urges Washington to invest in training programs and apprenticeships for people considering careers in the construction industry. The latest press release from AGC follows:

California and Rhode Island Add Most Jobs for the Year; Missouri and D.C. Have Largest Drops; Louisiana Tops Monthly List; Pennsylvania and Wyoming Have Biggest Decreases for the Month

Forty-two states added construction jobs between May 2016 and May 2017 amid growing demand for construction services, while 25 states and the District of Columbia lost construction jobs between April and May as firms struggle to find enough workers, according to an analysis by the Associated General Contractors of America of Labor Department data released today. Association officials said workforce shortages appear to be impacting construction employment in parts of the country.


On Friday afternoon, Steel Market Update learned the U.S. Department of Commerce Section 232 briefings with Capitol Hill on steel remedies scheduled for Friday were cancelled. The reason for the cancellation, according to World Trade Online, was the lack of progress within the administration on its approach to the issue.