Global steel growth to be 'slow, steady' in 2011 Fitch

Dec 20, 2010 | 09:48 AM |

Global steel industry growth will be "stable" in 2011, Fitch Ratings Services said, calling for a "slow and steady" recovery pace for the next 12 to 18 months.

That forecast corresponds with estimates from leading North American steel producers, many of whom have described the economic recovery for steel so far as "choppy" and coming in "fits and starts."

Developed nations won't reach peak steel demand levels until 2013, pricing will continue to be constrained by excess capacity and the raw materials cost pass-through "could be challenging," Chicago-based Fitch said.

North American steelmakers are starting to see some of the latter as customers rail against sharply rising prices. Producers have sought five carbon sheet hikes totaling about $150 per ton in the past five weeks, pushing hot-rolled sheet tags up 26.8 percent—to $710 per ton from $560 in late November.....

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