Caution rules steel demand outlook for ’13

Dec 31, 2012 | 12:03 PM | Corinna Petry

Tags  Steel market outlook, service centers, stamper, metalformer, steel pricing, end use demand, agriculture, construction equipment heavy truck

CHICAGO — Steel consumers—from service centers to stampers to manufacturers—are offering a mixed view of demand for early 2013.

The outlook is positive among steel-consuming companies in the auto sector, but less so for those supplying small and midsize general manufacturing businesses, according to sources. Demand for mining, energy and agricultural equipment might level off, but it should rise for construction equipment as housing starts and home sales finally begin to improve.

Long-term pricing forecasts both for long and flat steel products are clear as mud, with buyers suggesting that any monthly increases won’t hold very long unless demand gains ground.....

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