Things are looking up for steelmakers after a rough patch during the economic downturn and a winter weather-chilled first quarter.
Demand for steel was relatively flat in the United States in 2013, but AcrelorMittal is expecting a 4 percent increase in demand and shipments this year.
The steel industry got a boost from strong car sales in 2013, which hopefully should continue into this year, said Susan Zlajic, manager of government affairs at ArcelorMittal USA Inc.
ArcelorMittal and U.S. Steel have been working on streamlining operations after a prolonged economic slump has kept them from being profitable, and the Pittsburgh-based steelmaker plans to review labor costs at all its facilities.
Steelmakers continue to struggle with weak demand, low prices and overcapacity.
For many years the steel futures market was all talk and little action, but those days are gone as more financial products tied to the price of steel come to market.
Cargo shipments handled at the Port of Indiana-Burns Harbor are up 6 percent in the first five months of this year from the comparable 2011 period, according to data released Tuesday from a U.S. and Canadian marine industry coalition.
A key steel trade association cut its forecast for global steel demand this year on concerns that recovery in steel use could stall in the European Union and Japan and China could show slower growth than a year ago.
Planned starts of steel mill production capacity in the United States is likely to strain pricing for products key in automotive production and construction through 2011, according to a London-based steel research analyst.
Planned starts of steel mill production capacity in the United States is likely to strain pricing through 2011 for products key in automotive production and construction, according to a London-based steel research analyst.
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