If American business--and the
metals sector especially--selected a word of the year,
2012s winner would have been an easy choice:
At conferences and roundtables, at corporate meetings and in
interviews, metal industry executives and analysts invoked
uncertainty throughout the year, both as an explanation for why
growth had been slow and as a sort of talisman to ward off
undue optimism about intermittent economic upswings.
Uncertainty also may be the word of the year in 2013, judging
by the views put forward in AMMs annual survey
of metals sector executives. Consider: The re-election of
President Obama will make the business climate more uncertain,
but business still should be better off in 2013 than in 2012.
On the other hand, the overall U.S. economy likely will be
stagnant for another year or more, that same overall U.S.
economy will contribute heavily to finished metal products
pricing, and the energy and auto sectors will dominate the
end-user market for various metals.
These are the views that leading
metal players and AMM readers expressed in a November
poll about what lies ahead in 2013. The results offer a glimpse
into what people think about issues that affect the metals
industry. For instance, only 18 percent of survey respondents
said that they were less optimistic about business heading into
To complement our annual survey
results, weve gathered analysts and experts from a
variety of metals businesses and asked them to share their
views on what fortunes--or misfortunes--the new year might
And to get an even more in-depth
look at the steel industrys prospects, AMM is
once again hosting two conferences in January and February.
AMMs 18th Annual
Mexican Steel Forum from Jan. 28 through Jan. 30 in Monterrey
will bring together leading industry players from Mexico and
elsewhere to discuss market shifts and their implications for
business. With more than 250 delegates, including
representatives from commodity providers, Mexican and foreign
steel producers, service centers, distributors, processors,
original equipment manufacturers and leading construction and
automotive companies, last years forum brought the entire
supply chain under one roof. This years event promises to
be just as well-attended and even timelier: As foreign
automotive companies set up shop within Mexico, the entire
supply chain is being stimulated, creating new
AMMs 6th Annual
Steel Tube and Pipe Conference on Feb. 4 and 5 in Houston is
one of the leading tube and pipe events in North America.
Speakers from throughout the oil country tubular goods and line
pipe industry supply chain will come together to discuss how
producers and distributors should position themselves for
future demand, how companies can improve supply-chain
management, how governments can maintain a fair balance between
international and domestic supply, and other pressing
challenges and opportunities.
For more information on these conferences, click here.