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ENR misunderstands structural steel marketplace
Posted by Scott Melnick on December 20, 2007 at 11:50 PM.

ENR’s recent December 19 News Alert, “Steel Inventories at 10 Year Low,” is yet another example of ENR failing to recognize that the steel market is not monolithic. And while the report may be true for some steel products (such as the sheet steel used to manufacture refrigerators), it is false for structural steel products (such as wide flange sections and HSS members used in the construction of buildings). Rather than being at record low levels, service center inventory of structural products actually grew by 35,000 tons in October (the latest month for which figures are available) and now represents more than 2.6 months of demand. In addition, in 2008 the domestic capacity for wide flange products will increase by nearly one million tons (15%) as a result of mill expansions. In addition, several jumbo sizes formerly available only as imports will be rolled domestically. The structural steel industry is well prepared to meet the projected demand for steel in construction with products that are economic and readily available.

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