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 12,700 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 32 workers, and generates $9 million annually.

    • The architectural and structural metals manufacturing industry consists of about 12,700 companies that employ 412,000 workers and generate about $113.6 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

                              Jun 18, 2024 - Producer Prices, Wages at New Highs
                              • Producer prices for architectural and structural metals manufacturers ticked up 1.15% in April after rising 2.4% in the previous annual comparison, according to the latest US Bureau of Labor Statistics data. While the industry’s producer prices have risen less steeply since beginning in mid-2022, they reached a new high in April. Employment by architectural and structural metals manufacturing firms grew 4.7% in April year over year, while average industry wages rose 3.9% over the same period to a new high of $25.63 per hour, according to the BLS. Rising spending on nonresidential construction –a driver of demand for architectural and structural metal products – rose 12.4% in March year over year and was up 5.1% from February, according to the Census Bureau.
                              • Employment by the US construction sector – a key customer industry for architectural and structural metals manufacturers – grew in May, with nonresidential construction employment (up 3.9% year over year) outpacing job growth at residential building and specialty contractors, up 2.2% YoY, according to an analysis of Bureau of Labor Statistics data by the Associated General Contractors of America. The year-over-year growth rate for construction employment outpaced the 1.8% increase in total nonfarm payroll employment. Building, specialty trade, and heavy and civil engineering construction firms added 17,100 jobs in May and 179,000 since May 2023. Meanwhile, construction spending (not adjusted for inflation) totaled $2.1 trillion in April, up 10% year-over-year, the BLS reported in June, as declines in public and private nonresidential and multifamily construction outweighed growth in manufacturing projects, per AGC. Manufacturing construction spending rose 0.9% in May, led by spending on transportation equipment.
                              • According to newly released Census Bureau figures, US capital expenditures for robotic equipment totaled $12,960 million (not statistically different than 2021) and accounted for 1.1% of total equipment expenditures in 2022. The manufacturing sector was the largest investor, accounting for more than half (56.2%) of all robotic equipment expenditures – nearly $7.3 billion that year. Amid a stubborn labor shortage, manufacturers rely increasingly on automation, including robots, for some tasks to achieve greater productivity. Also, collaborative robots (aka "cobots”) that work alongside humans are becoming increasingly popular with smaller manufacturers that cannot afford expensive industrial robots. According to The Tube and Pipe Journal, more than 20% of all robots going into factories now are for arc welding applications.)
                              • Metal fabricators may catch a break under a new Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) proposal for domestic content requirements, The Fabricator reported in April. The proposed rule would end the longstanding Buy America waiver for manufactured products in federal-aid highway projects. The proposal, announced in March, would reverse the FHA’s current policy that a manufactured product's iron and steel components – say for bridges – be 100% “melted and poured” in the US when used in FHWA-funded projects. Instead, it would require that manufactured products be 55% made in America. While bad news for domestic steel producers, the change would benefit fabricators of highway products – and possibly others to come – containing iron and steel. If the proposal becomes final, fabricators will be able to source iron and steel from overseas sources, which have typically been less expensive than domestic sources in recent months, according to The Fabricator.
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