It’s 2017, and We Have Predictions!

This week in metals we looked at where we think some major markets will go in this new year.

Steel: How About Flat Products?

James May of Steel-Insight says finished steel flat products will see more demand and, hence, bigger price increases this year. There’ll be more HRC capacity and U.S. Steel might even reopen one of the blast furnaces at its Granite City, Ill., facility, too.

Iron Ore: It Can’t Go Higher, Can It?

Iron ore prices more than doubled in 2016 so they’re obviously going to pull back this year, right? Stuart Burns wrote this week that “the interplay of the futures market, physical demand from steel mills, and seaborne iron ore supply has too many variables to predict 2017 and ’18 with any certainty.” So, it’s not out of the question that it could.

Free Trade… in Europe

It’s not just us Yanks here in the U.S. who are turning our backs on free trade. Stuart reminds us that 2017 holds the potential for a weakening of the European Union and, possibly, a complete about face on free trade by the currency bloc. They have to figure out how to administer Brexit, too. I plan on administering breakfast soon.

How to Purchase Steel

It wasn’t all predictions this week. Contributor Jonas Divine of Atlas Holdings told us about how he learned that how you purchase steel is as important as when for his company’s recent acquisition, Merchants Metals in Atlanta. Happy purchasing this year!

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