Volatility challenges small steel distributors

May 21, 2012 | 03:01 PM | Corinna Petry

Tags  Steel, service centers, distributors, volatility, production capacity, Corinna Petry

CHICAGO — Small and regional steel service centers are worried about surplus capacity, fierce competition and price volatility, according to a wide-ranging AMM survey of service center sentiment. National distributor chains are somewhat less anxious, although they do acknowledge a slight slowing in activity.

"Business has truly slowed down. If not for automotive, it would be really bad," said the owner of a midsize chain of flat-rolled warehouses. "Inventories are building and prices are collapsing like a deck of cards, with mills fighting like crazy (for orders)."....

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