Architectural & Structural Metals Mfrs

Industry Profile Report

Dive Deep into the industry with a 25+ page industry report (pdf format) including the following chapters

Industry Overview Current Conditions, Industry Structure, How Firms Operate, Industry Trends, Credit Underwriting & Risks, and Industry Forecast.

Call Preparation Call Prep Questions, Industry Terms, and Weblinks.

Financial Insights Working Capital, Capital Financing, Business Valuation, and Financial Benchmarks.

Industry Profile Excerpts

Industry Overview

The 12,500 metal manufacturers in the US produce structural, ornamental, and architectural metal products, primarily for use in the construction industry. Major product categories include sheet metal work; fabricated structural metal products; ornamental and architectural products; plate work; windows and doors; and prefabricated building and component products. Sheet metal work includes air conditioning ducts and stove pipe; electronic enclosures; roofing and roof drainage equipment; flooring and siding; and culverts, flumes, and irrigation pipe. Fabricated structural metal products include bar joists, concrete reinforcements, and structural metal for bridges.

Seasonal Sales

Sales are seasonal and driven by construction activity, which typically peaks during warmer weather.

Capital-Intensive Operations

Architectural and structural metals manufacturing is capital-intensive, and most companies have significant investments in plants, equipment, and machinery.

Industry size & Structure

The average architectural and structural metals manufacturer operates out of a single location, employs about 30-31 workers, and generates $8 million annually.

    • The architectural and structural metals manufacturing industry consists of about 12,500 companies that employ about 385,400 workers and generate about $100 billion annually.
    • The industry is highly fragmented; the top 50 firms account for nearly 28% of industry sales.
    • Some large companies are vertically integrated and own and operate raw steel manufacturing facilities, such as mini-mills.
    • Large companies include Valmont Industries, Cornerstone Building Brands, OmniMax International (formerly Euramax International), Quanex Building Products, and Gilbraltar Industries.
    • Commercial construction accounts for the majority of industry sales.
    • Structural steel is the most commonly used framing material in the US, and accounts for over half of framing used in non-residential and multi-story (more than four stories) residential construction, according to the American Institute of Steel Construction (AISC).
                              Industry Forecast
                              Architectural & Structural Metals Mfrs Industry Growth
                              Source: Vertical IQ and Inforum

                              Recent Developments

                              Mar 17, 2023 - Competition from Mass Timber
                              • Mass timber – an engineered wood product made of layers of wood bonded with glue or nails – is gaining traction in the US as a low-carbon alternative to steel and concrete, The New York Times reported in March. Mass timber’s durability and sustainability benefits are behind its increasing prominence at US colleges and universities, where it’s included not only as an exciting concept in the building sciences curriculum but also as a material in campus buildings, NYT reports. Despite supply issues and higher upfront costs than steel and concrete, developers are finding that mass timber structures go up more quickly than buildings made from steel and concrete, helping to recover upfront costs faster. Cross-laminated timber (CLT) panels suitable for walls, roofs and flooring capture carbon, keeping it out of the atmosphere and are more sustainable than other construction materials, like steel and concrete.
                              • The shortage of construction workers is expected to top 500,000 this year, according to a February news release from the Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC). The construction industry will need to attract an estimated 546,000 additional workers on top of the normal pace of hiring in 2023 to meet the demand for labor, according to ABC’s proprietary Construction Spending and Employment Forecast. While construction employment has largely recovered from its pandemic-driven dip, it still isn’t where it needs to be. Moreover, in 2024, the industry will need to bring in more than 342,000 new workers on top of normal hiring to meet industry demand, presuming that construction spending growth slows significantly next year. Per ABC’s model, which converts anticipated increases in construction outlays into demand for construction labor, $1 billion in additional construction spending creates approximately 3,620 new jobs.
                              • Research indicates a slowdown in the overall roofing market in the US and Canada, driven by higher interest rates, supply issues and increased transportation costs, according to Metal Construction News (MCN). However, consumer awareness of metal roofing is rising, and the Metal Roofing Alliance (MRA) says it expects the market share for metal roofing to continue to grow. According to the latest Dodge Construction Report, the share of residential metal roofing in the United States increased from 12% in 2019 to 17% in 2021. The report shows the roofing market has grown overall, and that metal is getting a bigger percentage of that share. The MRA says education is key to helping homeowners understand the benefits of metal roofing and drive continued industry growth.
                              • Following a December 2022 ruling by the World Trade Organization that Trump-era duties on aluminum and steel violate international law, the US has refused to remove the tariffs and called the decision flawed. Washington may appeal the ruling, but as it has also blocked appointments to the appellate body, the appeal would enter a legal limbo, Aluminum Insider reports. The office of the US Trade Representative said in a press release that the government will not stand by and allow the People’s Republic of China to flood the country with below-market aluminum and steel, adding the decision demonstrates the need for reform of the WTO. The Trump administration imposed the 10% tariffs on aluminum and 25% tariffs on steel, invoking a section of trade law that permits such tariffs if an investigation finds that a certain import jeopardizes national security.
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