Steel, Metals Sourcing Trends Upwards Amidst Tariff Talks

 

Jul 07, 2017

Hey @tonyuphoff, there's a lot of talk about U.S. steel production in the headlines lately. How is this impacting sourcing for the material?

Good question! With U.S. steel taking center stage in discussions about trade and tariffs, raw material buyers are definitely taking notice. Here’s what we’ve seen on the THOMASNET.com platform:

Over the last five weeks, supplier evaluations in “Steel” have spiked 18% over the 77-week average. Last week, buyers performed 38% more supplier evaluations than normal.

Concurrently, “Metals” activity surged up more than 100% over the last two weeks.

It’s clear that raw material buyers are ramping up their sourcing activity when it comes to steel.

So what’s fueling the change?

  • For one, Chinese steel exports are at their lowest levels since 2014. However, domestic use of steel continues to increase. Demand is high.
  • Secondly, the Trump administration is investigating whether the U.S. has reliable access to materials required for national security. Many believe that the investigation is a precursor to tariffs.

Looking beyond the numbers, these changes are having a real impact on buyers and suppliers – the people who use THOMASNET.com every day.

For example, we spoke to Don Ascione at Continental Steel and heard that their international suppliers are refusing to quote projects for shipment to the U.S. in fear of getting stuck with the tariff increases. They certainly aren’t alone.

Buyers should try to get a step ahead of the trends while they can and identify reliable secondary or tertiary raw material suppliers. The longer you wait, the less likely is it that these suppliers will have the capacity you need.

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