NOVEMBER 2016 STEEL BULLETIN
It cannot be said that the steel industry is predictable. Since our last bulletin in May prices eased down slightly and most expected the trend to continue, but it has not. Despite a lacklustre scrap price, coking coal has more than doubled in price and with the exchange rate fall of sterling against the dollar and euro, we are faced with substantial increases on most products. Other factors contributing to these increases are the imposition of duties on Chinese steel, the price of energy and increases in iron ore prices, to name a just a few. One mill manager asked why he should sell at prices into the UK which are well below those achievable on the continent. Why indeed! Our customers may find these facts confusing as prices from stockholders remain low at present, but these higher prices will start to be seen in the general marketplace, sooner rather than later. As we go to press we have been notified of price increases from British Steel and Arcelor on heavy sections and from Tata Corby on hollow sections of between £25-£30/t effective from 1st November. They also indicate more increases in the New Year. The anticipated upturn in prices has begun! Please be careful if pricing forward. For up to date market information please give us a call on 01845 528200.
The supply of steel is not currently an issue, but all of the changes that have taken place over the last 6 months are by no means complete. What does the future hold for Greybull and the new British Steel? What will happen to the rest of Tata Europe? Recently a hollow section mill in South Wales has closed its doors and is moving back to Turkey. These questions and many others make us take all the necessary precautions to ensure that we have long term relationships in place that guarantee our supply of quality steel to all of our customers.
It is with regret that we have to report on the loss of Steve Lockwood who passed away in September following a battle with cancer. Steve was our Financial Director for 22 years and was one of the best and nicest men you would wish to know. Our thoughts are with his family at this time.
On a different note, we all wish Frank Metcalfe the very best for his retirement. Frank has been driving one of our artics for the last 28 years (not the same one) and has always been there to help whenever asked. Frank is always cheerful and he has made many friends on his daily delivery rounds. It will be impossible to replace Frank but we are delighted that he has agreed to help out next year when the spring comes around. Enjoy your retirement Frank, you have certainly deserved it.
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