Tag Archives: economics

Innovation in steelmaking

In a previous article, we discussed how the real prices of commodities tend to fall in the long term (i.e. once adjusted for inflation).

While there are a number of factors contributing to this, perhaps the most important is that of technological advance.

A recent article in The Economist highlights this argument with regard to the steel industry. The article discusses the growing application of two different steelmaking techniques – Castrip and Belt Casting.

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More trade protection on the way in Europe?

After having gone after imports of both hot-rolled coil (HRC) and cold-rolled coil (CRC) this year, will the European Commission soon be turning its attention to imports of galvanized steel? (primarily hot-dipped galvanized material (HDG))

In all likelihood yes but just how effective would any import restrictions be?

Let’s take a look at the case for implementing trade protection measures on these products and what effect they may have.

Continue reading More trade protection on the way in Europe?

Tubacex takes hit from oil & gas slowdown

Mention the Spanish stainless steel industry and one is likely to think first and foremost of Acerinox, one of the world’s largest stainless steelmakers with production facilities not only in Spain, but also in Malaysia, South Africa, and the USA.

Spain is also home to another world leader when it comes to stainless steel products, however. That company is Tubacex, the focus of this article and the world’s largest producer of stainless steel seamless tubes.

Continue reading Tubacex takes hit from oil & gas slowdown

2016 commodities outlook: From super cycle to super correction

Last year was once again rather disastrous for commodity prices. Average prices of the base metals traded on the LME all dropped massively, while average prices of oil, iron ore and steel also fell sharply. The general downward trend that has been in place since 2011 continued.

Continue reading 2016 commodities outlook: From super cycle to super correction

Prices down but profitability quietly creeps up in Europe’s steel industry

With prices of many commodities at multi-year lows, recent financial releases from some of Europe’s major steelmakers delivered a reminder that not everything is bad in the steel industry.

Following an improvement in profit margins last year, Europe’s steelmakers have continued their resurgence during the first half of 2015.

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Why, when most stories surrounding the steel and commodity markets are overwhelmingly negative these days, might this be the case?

Continue reading Prices down but profitability quietly creeps up in Europe’s steel industry