Midwest steel imports said unlikely to return

Oct 29, 2012 | 01:06 PM | Chris Prentice

Tags  ASD, traders, steel, imports, Chris Prentice

LAS VEGAS — Large volumes of steel imports may never again return to the Midwest, even after the economic recovery takes hold, according to trading house executives at the Association of Steel Distributors’ fall conference in Las Vegas.

Although economic uncertainty is today contributing to a downturn in steel demand across all regions, the Midwest in particular is unlikely to see a comeback for foreign material, even once the overall economy recovers, the executives said.

"Will it ever come back? I don’t know. The domestic mills are getting more and more competitive," said John Foster, president of Kurt Orban Partners LLC. "Out of all the four regions of the country, I think the Midwest is going to be the toughest because of the logistics and the better job the domestic industry is doing in their backyard in terms of better lead times and controlling their market."....

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