oil country tubular goods (OCTG) producers likely will win a
trade petition filed against imports from nine nations as steel
prices appear poised to settle at a reasonable level, according
to JMC Steel Group Inc.s top executive.
confident well have a positive outcome ... and I think
its going to be good for the industry," said JMC
executive chairman and chief executive officer Barry Zekelman.
"The dumped product was just getting ridiculous."
If domestic producers
win, it will mean increased consumption of both U.S.-made
tubulars and flat-rolled substrate, Zekelman told AMM
at JMCs Wheatland Tube Co. plant in Chicago, which also
is home to JMCs corporate headquarters.
The U.S. International
Trade Commission voted unanimously Aug. 16 that there is a
reasonable indication the domestic OCTG industry is being
materially injured by imports from India, the Philippines,
Saudi Arabia, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand, Turkey, Ukraine
and Vietnam (
amm.com, Aug. 16). Domestic petitioners in the
case include Energex Tube, a division of JMC Steel Group.
Meanwhile, JMC is
adding shifts at the Wheatland Tube facility in Chicago,
Energex in Thomasville, Ala., and Atlas Tube Inc. in
Blytheville, Ark. "Energex is really starting to grow.
Hopefully, with these (OCTG) imports being pushed back out,
well get up to the operating levels there that we need,"
But while JMC may be
adding shifts at two Energex facilities in Thomasville, skilled
workersincluding electricians, millwrights and
weldershave been hard to come by, Zekelman said. "You
cant find the talent, and youre competing with
Zekelman said there
are opportunities in the North American manufacturing sector.
"People need to quit going to school to be a doctor or a lawyer
or an accountant and then not finding jobs," he said. "Now
there are good jobs in manufacturing. People just need to be
willing to look at it again."
He disagreed with talk
about steel prices falling. "The steel market is OK. People are
trying to talk it down, but I dont see it happening," he
said. "It will settle into a good price level that is healthy
for both steel producers and buyers. But trying to talk it into
a freefall, I think thats just really irresponsible."
questioned the reliability of sources providing pricing data to
trade publications. "We need to get rid of this Midwest
market source. None of them are brave enough to say their
names because theyre guessing or not telling the truth,"
JMC Steel might be in
a good position to know, given its annual appetite for more
than 2.5 million tons of hot-rolled steelmore than is
consumed by General Motors Co., Zekelman said. "We are the
largest hot-rolled buyer in North America ... so its
pretty decent chunk of steel."
prices have edged down to $32.50 per hundredweight ($650 per
ton) f.o.b. Midwest mill from $32.75 per cwt ($655 per ton)
previously, according to AMMs most recent
amm.com, Sept. 12).