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Jul 01, 2014 | 12:00 AM

Is steel in the middle of a ‘lost decade’?

Technically speaking, the Great Recession began in December 2007, reached its nadir in 2008 and concluded in summer 2009, meaning that we’ve been in recovery for five years now. So why doesn’t it feel that way in the steel industry? First off, a robust and sustained recovery has yet to kick in for many economic sectors beyond steel, meaning demand has yet to soar.

In the waning days of the Bush administration and the early days of the Obama administration, many economists from both sides of the political landscape said that without a full-throated response from the government the United States would risk falling into a 1990s—and even early 2000s—Japanese-style decade-long slump, or a so-called lost decade. This year marks the seventh anniversary of the start of the recession, and it sure feels like the United States is well on the way to completing its own decade of despair. ....


John Ambrosia

  • Over 30 years were needed to break through the 1973 U.S. and EU demand peaks after the 1975 and 1982 severe recessions. Prices languished similarly. While all of the contents in your article were opinions we share, it is possible that steel suffers 2 or 3 "lost decades." Scrap steel and met coal price peaks in Spring 2008 and Spring 2011 and iron ore price peaks in 2011-12 may not be seen again for many years. Excess capacities in iron ore, steel melting and steel rolling are epic. China more than doubled world steel capacity in the past decade.
    JOHN C TUMAZOS May 07, 2015

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