American MetalMarket

Magazine Issue: January/February 2014

Cover Story

South pull: Mexican steel market gains strength
Due to growing automotive, aerospace, appliance and heavy equipment industries, Mexico’s steel market is seen as one of the strongest in the world, with production rising in 2013.  But steelmakers still face some concerns.

Market Spotlight

2014 Outlook





From the Editor

  • Who’s to blame if 2014 is another mediocre year?

    “No confidence in this government,” said one respondent to the AMM survey of metal company executives. “We need to make our own best decisions from a business standpoint no matter what Washington does or doesn’t do.”



  • Mated to Metals: Jim Tumulty

    Jim Tumulty and the team he leads at newly formed Calibre Group LLC are armed with a cache of metals expertise, a solid relationship with the United Steelworkers union and a $100-million investment fund.  And they are poised to pull the trigger on the right target in a turf they know well.


  • Supply side effects

    The North American market’s distinct suitability for DRI production facilities, the evolving chemistry of scrap, the expansion of shredding capacity and higher percentages of nontraditional grades in mill scrap mixes are altering industry thinking on raw materials.

Steel anchored

  • 2014 Outlook: Flat-Rolled Steel

    A stable steel market environment is expected for the foreseeable future, as changes in discounting, product demand and leadership at key companies have metal executives ready to roll with the punches in a year that will not move too far in either direction.

Keeping the edge

  • 2014 Outlook: Stainless Steel

    While China is facing overproduction issues that could derail stainless steel’s momentum this year, analysts and players in the sector say the strength of US market fundamentals could be enough to overcome foreign factors.

The import(ance) of foreign steel

  • 2014 Outlook: Imports–Exports

    After a year in which steel imports actually fell slightly, many in the market expect another relatively flat year in 2014 as weak economic recovery and demand for products may continue at home and abroad, maintaining a ceiling on just how much steel is needed.

Scaling up

  • 2014 Outlook: Ferrous Scrap

    Scrapyards are bullish on 2014 as US mill demand, steel output and a generally stronger overall economy all point to increased business and profits, especially if key segments, such as nonresidential construction, finally emerge from the doldrums.

Aluminum forecasts diverge

  • 2014 Outlook: Aluminum

    Mass-produced vehicles such as Ford’s aluminum-intensive F-150 pickup truck should spur demand in 2014, but some metal analysts believe that a modestly stronger North American appetite alone will not be enough to soak up a global aluminum supply glut.

Taxiing for takeoff

  • 2014 Outlook: Titanium

    The titanium market ended 2013 awaiting a drawdown of inventories and a recovery in prices, and those concerns are expected to be the predominant features for producers of both mill products and scrap throughout the coming year due to a variety of factors.

Too much

  • 2014 Outlook: Nickel

    Nickel market challenges aren’t necessarily a result of weakening consumption, but rather because of too much production in a market that is oversaturated domestically and globally with enough product to overcome the unknown.

Drilling down to an up market

  • 2014 Outlook: Steel Tube & Pipe

    Many key players said the 2014 outlook for tube and pipe is stable to positive, with very little downside expected in the coming months due mostly to technological advances by end-users, gains in construction and a view that OCTG will remain strong for the sector.

Raw power

  • 2014 Outlook: Raw Materials

    The 2014 outlook for iron ore producers is bright as they build on what for some was a strong finish to last year, while the metallurgical coal sector expects current struggles will continue in the coming months due at least in part to nagging environmental and regulatory issues.

It’s complicated

  • 2014 Outlook: Secondary aluminum

    This year is likely to see a continuation of last year’s issues affecting the secondary aluminum market, including sweeping LME rule changes, Chinese insistence on higher-quality scrap and a shortage of material needed to meet strong auto demand.

Rebuilding year

  • 2014 Outlook: Copper

    Copper producers are optimistic about 2014 after a disappointing performance last year, with fears about oversupply, overproduction, a drop in demand from China and falling prices starting to give way to a sense that business could return to normal at some point this year.


SPECIAL SECTION: Steel Tube and Pipe


    As 2014 begins, a key trade case may be nearing completion as governmental agencies prepare to rule on imports of tube and pipe—and OCTG in particular—from nine countries.

SPECIAL SECTION: Steel Tube and Pipe

  • The gas companies

    Reciprocal growth stokes steel and natural gas as the shale bonanza makes energy cheap, fostering a DRI renaissance that has the potential to redefine steelmaking for the foreseeable future as demand for high-value products can now be met more affordably.