Steel Products Manufacturers

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 487 steel products manufacturers in the US produce iron and steel tubes, pipes, wires, and shapes from purchased iron or steel. Companies that specialize in pipes and tubes account for 52% of total industry revenue; rolled steel shape manufacturers account for 24% and steel wire manufacturers account for 24%.

Economically Sensitive Customer Base

Demand for steel products depends on the health of customer industries, many of which are cyclical and vulnerable to economic conditions.

Competition from Alternative Materials

Depending on the application, steel may compete with a variety of alternative materials.

Industry size & Structure

Steel products manufacturers generally operate out of a single location, employ about 100 workers, and generate $65.5 million annually.

    • The steel products manufacturing industry consists of 487 companies that employ about 54,100 workers and generate $31.9 billion annually.
    • Companies that specialize in pipes and tubes account for 52% of total industry revenue; rolled steel shape manufacturers account for 24% and steel wire manufacturers account for 24%.
    • The industry is concentrated with the top 50 companies accounting for 62% of sales.
    • Some large steel producers are vertically integrated and own and operate downstream processing facilities that manufacture finished steel products.
    • Large companies include Precision Castparts, McWane, California Steel Industries, and Liberty Steel & Wire.
                              Industry Forecast
                              Steel Products Manufacturers Industry Growth
                              Source: Vertical IQ and Inforum

                              Recent Developments

                              Apr 21, 2024 - Producer Prices Sink
                              • The producer price index (PPI) for steel product manufacturers fell 6.3% in March compared to a year ago, extending a decline that began in May 2022, according to the latest data from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics. Meanwhile, employment by the industry grew 5% in January 2024 versus January 2023, while average wages paid by primary metals manufacturers rose 4.8% over the same period to $28.80 per hour, down slightly from their peak above $29 per hour at the end of 2023.
                              • President Biden has called for tripling tariffs on Chinese steel and aluminum, CNBC reports. In remarks to US steel workers, Biden said that if an investigation by the Office of the US Trade Representative finds China engaging in anti-competitive practices, it will consider more than tripling the tariffs from their current average of 7.5% to 25%. The administration alleges China is overproducing goods to export to the US, driving down prices and hurting the American economy because higher-quality US products must compete with artificially low-priced alternatives. While steel producers support the higher tariffs, makers of steel products that purchase steel from China would face higher prices. However, according to Bloomberg, China “accounted for just 600,000 metric tons of steel imports in 2023, out of a total US steel imports of 25.6 million tons”— a mere 2.3% of all steel imported into the US in 2023.
                              • According to preliminary US Census Bureau data, US steel imports fell in 2023. Total and finished steel imports were 28,156,000 and 21,694,000 net tons (NT) last year, down 8.7% and 14.1%, respectively, compared to 2022, per the USCB. The finished steel import market share was estimated at 21% for 2023, the American Iron and Steel Institute (AISI) reported in January. Steel products with a significant increase in imports for 2023 vs. 2022 included cut lengths plates (up 20%) and ingots, billets and slabs (up 16%). In 2023, the largest suppliers of steel to the US were Canada (6,885,000 NT, unchanged vs. 2022), Mexico (4,184,000 NT, down 21%), and Brazil (3,942,000 NT, up 54%). Imports from Japan fell 6%, per AISI.
                              • The steel industry’s reaction to the Clean Competition Act (CCA) reintroduced in Congress in December is mixed, according to an American Iron and Steel Institute (AISI) press release. The legislation aims to reduce industrial climate pollution while strengthening the competitiveness of clean US manufacturing through new incentives. While AISI welcomes the bill’s proposed system of carbon intensity-based tariffs on higher-emitting imports, it strongly opposes a proposed tax on domestic carbon emissions. “This provision penalizes domestic producers who are making great strides towards decarbonization and would deprive domestic steel producers of the very capital needed to continue investing billions of dollars in decarbonization and innovation in the United States,” per the AISI release. The act would impose a carbon border adjustment on energy-intensive imports, including iron and steel, beginning in 2025. In 2027, it would expand to include imported finished goods that meet certain weight or value thresholds, such as cars.
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