US need for steel may lead to Southeast blast furnace

Oct 17, 2006 | 02:19 PM | Scott Robertson

The migration of automakers and other steel users already has led to one scrap-based steel producer locating operations in the southeastern United States.

John Anton, manager of steel service at Washington-based Global Insight Inc. and ferrous metals industry analyst for the company's Cost Information Service, believes it won't be long before steel production of another sort—perhaps a new blast furnace operation—will locate in the Southeast as well.

Anton, keynote speaker at Intertech-Pira Corp.'s Met Coke Summit in Philadelphia, said he is bullish on U.S. manufacturing in the near-term and the time is right for a new blast furnace to be built. The southeastern United States is a likely location because of the migration of foreign automakers to the region, he said.

"I am bullish on manufacturing and goods production in the U.S.," Anton said. "As the dollar gets weaker, goods production benefits. The dollar is getting weaker, so export loses some of its cost advantages."....

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