construction could return to pre-recession levels within the
next few years, with U.S. light vehicle output hitting 17
million units annually by 2018, panelists said May 8 at the
Association for Iron and Steel Technologys AISTech 2013
Construction levels could be
similar to those of 2005-08, Chad Utermark, vice president and
general manager of Blytheville, Ark.-based Nucor-Yamato Steel
Co. and Nucor Castrip Arkansas LLC, said, noting his
companys involvement with a new stadium in San
"We could see an explosion in
nonresidential construction, which has been absent these last
few years," he said. "Were still way off the levels we
need to be at, but I think there are some signs that we could
see some good times in the steel industry next year."
Andrew Harshaw, executive vice
president of operations at Chicago-based ArcelorMittal USA LLC,
agreed that the sector has been "dead on arrival" the past few
years but looks likely to improve.
"Theres demand in the
pipeline, although we still think its two to three years
before we get back to normal demand," he said.
An expected rise in residential
building should yield wider benefits for the steel industry,
Michael Rehwinkel, president and chief executive officer of
Chicago-based Evraz Inc. North America, said.
"Housing is coming back fairly
warm, and when the housing market starts its upturnwhich
should be in the next one, two, three yearsit will pull
the rest of the industry up with it. Because its about
jobs, and more tax dollars will come into the government that
theyll spend on infrastructure," he said.
Meanwhile, Harshaw said that the
auto sector should continue to be one of the best-performing
end markets for steel.
"Youd expect 15.1 million
to 15.2 million cars to be produced this year," he said.
"Therell be some bumps in the road this year for
automotive, but we expect it to get out to 17 million units by