After suffering for some seven years through to 2015, the world’s steelmakers have had cause for cheer over the past couple of years. Following some heavy losses and write-downs, they finally appear to have emerged from the wreckage of the global financial crisis. An economic upswing has taken root in most regions of the world, Chinese steel output and export growth has slowed noticeably, and steel prices have enjoyed an upward swing in consequence.
A recent article in The Economist highlighted the problems being faced by US manufacturers in the face of a strengthening dollar.
Indeed, with economic data for Europe increasingly surprising on the upside so far this year, and that of the USA increasingly disappointing, there are ever more questions over whether the positive economic data coming out of Europe is merely coming at the expense of that in the USA following the large shift in value of each region’s currency.
Put simply, US goods have become much more expensive in overseas markets while European goods have become relatively cheaper.
A look at the world’s tinplate industry, which has shown little-to-no global growth over the past decade, suggests that growth in one region at the expense of growth in another is very much a real phenomenon.