Steel Market News

  1. Builder confidence hit a two-year low, tumbling for the eighth straight month in August and bringing the housing market to a crawl.

    The National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index (HMI) said that elevated interest rates, ongoing supply chain problems and high home prices continue to exacerbate housing affordability challenges.

  2. Raw steel production by US mills edged up marginally last week after declining for two straight weeks. Domestic output was 1,742,000 net tons in the week ending Aug. 13, while capacity utilization was 79%. That marks the fifth week below 80%, according to the latest data from the American Iron and Steel Institute (AISI).

  3. Domestic steel groups are supportive of some portions of the recently passed Inflation Reduction Act. The bill is meant not only to make a down payment on deficit reduction to fight inflation but to also invest in domestic energy production and manufacturing. It in addition aims to reduce carbon emissions by 40% by 2030, allow for lower Medicare prescription drug prices, and expand the Affordable Care Act for another three years.

  4. North Star BlueScope is “substantially complete” with a $700 million expansion that will provide the Delta, Ohio, EAF sheet mill with additional annual capacity of nearly 950,000 short tons (850,000 metric tonnes).

    The mill produced the first coil from its expansion in June and has begun the 18-month process of ramping up the facility to its full run rate.

    Once that is complete, North Star BlueScope will account for approximately 5% of total annual US flat steel production, its Australian parent company said.

  5. We had a big development this week with London-listed Russian steelmaker Evraz Plc announcing plans to sell its North American operations.

    A move like this has been rumored for some time. We’ve heard versions of it going back to Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine in late February.

    Still, it was something of a shock to see the rumor finally in writing. It’s equally surprising to see yet another Russian steelmaker that had become a household name exiting the North American steel scene.