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 480 steel products manufacturers in the US produce iron and steel tubes, pipes, wires, and shapes from purchased iron or steel. Companies specializing 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 125 workers, and generate $66.5 million annually.

    • The steel products manufacturing industry comprises 480 companies that employ about 60,000 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: the top 50 companies account 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

                              Jun 21, 2024 - Steel Shipments Unchanged in 2023
                              • According to the American Iron and Steel Institute's 2023 Annual Statistical Report (ASR) released in June, the construction and automotive industries remained the leading end-use markets for shipments of US steel products last year. In 2023, shipments from domestic steel mills measured 89.3 million net tons, essentially unchanged from the previous year. US raw steel production was 89.7 million net tons in 2023, a 1.1% increase from 2022. The report also shows that total steel imports into the US fell by 8.7% compared to 2022, while finished steel imports decreased by 14.1% over the same period to capture a 21% share of apparent steel consumption.
                              • In May, the National Association of Manufacturers published “Working Smarter: How Manufacturers Are Using Artificial Intelligence,” detailing use cases for AI in manufacturing. The whitepaper addresses how AI can improve efficiency, product development, safety, predictive maintenance, and supply chain logistics. Key findings include that AI tools are being broadly adopted across the sector and are advancing modern manufacturing; manufacturers are consuming, developing, and deploying AI throughout their production processes; and the fact that manufacturing companies are implementing and testing AI programs in a way that keeps workers as the central drivers and decision-makers for AI processes or products. The steel industry is using AI to develop steel alloys tailored to specific industries and driving sustainability efforts through process optimization to reduce waste and energy use. Makers of steel products can also use AI to improve customer service by better understanding customer needs and preferences.
                              • 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 declined 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.
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