In a pickle

Feb 24, 2009 | 06:36 AM |

Toll processing has never been the most glamorous part of the metals industry. Processors don't make steel; they don't buy steel; they don't own steel. But it's a critical part of the North American metal supply chain, and right now it's suffering badly.

As AMM's Chicago-based correspondent, Corinna Petry, discovers in this month's cover feature (page 28), the sector is in a uniquely vulnerable position stuck between the catastrophic decline in the sectors that make up their traditional customer base—auto, construction and appliances—and cutbacks at steel producers. As one executive notes, "If people aren't buying value-added services for flat-rolled steel, what is a pickler going to pickle?"....

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