Metal forming companies are optimistic about business conditions over the next three months according to a business report issued in January by the Precision Metalforming Association (PMA). The US Commerce Department commented that the GDP rose further than their previous estimates. It has been boosted by stronger consumer and business spending. It is anticipated that the US central bank will begin raising interest rates in 2015.
Aluminum – In January the prices of Aluminum increased over the previous month. The automotive industry is continuing to drive the comeback of aluminum prices. The increase in price and consumption has only just started; further price increases are anticipated.
Carbon Steel – In January the price of Cold Rolled increased while Hot Rolled prices remained unchanged. In the USA the steel industry has been performing better than other regions. In January both ArcelorMittal and U.S. Steel announced cutbacks. ArcelorMittal will idle Indiana Harbor Long Carbon and U.S. Steel plans to idle East Chicago Tin. The challenge the industry faces is to remain profitable while under attack from increasing foreign imports.
Stainless – In January the prices of Stainless Steel increased over the previous month. The recovery of the Stainless steel market is particularly strong in the United States. It is resulting in increased prices and longer mill delivery lead time. Expectations are that worldwide production will increase by another 5 percent this year, surpassing last year’s all-time annual high of 41 million tonnes.
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