US stainless market to see little change in 2013

Dec 31, 2012 | 07:00 PM | Thorsten Schier

Tags  stainless steel, 2013 outlook, Ed Blot, Ed Blot & Associates Inc., Stainless and Its Alloys Conference, Thorsten Schier

The domestic stainless steel market might not see much growth in 2013, and market conditions could bear more than a passing resemblance to last year.

“My forecast for the total market (in 2012) is that it’ll be down slightly and we’ll be flat (in 2013),” Ed Blot, owner of Ed Blot & Associates Inc., told participants at AMM’s 26th annual Stainless and Its Alloys Conference in Chicago.

Markus Moll, managing director and senior analyst at Austrian firm Steel & Metals Market Research GmbH, agreed that a flat year is the best the domestic market can hope for, but he also left open the possibility of a decline if economic issues, such as the debt ceiling, are not dealt with.

The main end markets for stainless are tied strongly to gross domestic product growth, which has been hampered due to fiscal and political issues.

“We’re not looking for a lot of growth. Automotive is likely (reaching a plateau) at the 15-million-unit level. The consumer is still strained financially, and general industrial demand at this point looks pretty tepid,” one industry analyst said.....

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