Fourth quarter will be barometer for stainless steel industry

Aug 28, 2012 | 07:00 PM | Myra Pinkham

Tags  U.S. stainless steel industry, Amy Bennett, Metal Bulletin Research, Markus A. Moll, Steel & Metals Market Research GmbH, U.S. stainless steel consumption, nickel prices, Christopher Plummer Metal Strategies Inc.

The health of the domestic and global economies in the fourth quarter could make or break the near- and medium-term profitability of the U.S. stainless steel industry, according to analysts.

“North America remains one of the strongest regions globally,” with many stainless-consuming industries in the region recovering sooner than expected, said Amy Bennett, principal steel consultant at Metal Bulletin Research. However, she acknowledges that there has been some slowing due to a combination of economic uncertainty and falling raw materials pricing.

“The momentum that the U.S. stainless market had been experiencing in the first quarter is currently fading a little, and in recent months it has even begun to go slightly backwards compared with the very strong market a year ago,” said Markus A. Moll, managing director and senior market analyst at Steel & Metals Market Research GmbH, Ruette, Austria. ....





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