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State firms report metal-imports use

By Nathan Owens

This article was published April 14, 2018 at 2:05 a.m.

A recent survey of Arkansas businesses revealed the firms' reliance on imported metals and how much proposed U.S. duties on imported steel and aluminum could affect them.

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RBear says... April 14, 2018 at 8:07 a.m.

Tight domestic supply is something that can be fixed, but will take time. In looking at some industry outlooks on the domestic steel industry, I found some interesting insights on the state of the industry. One point validated the responses to the survey.
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From one report, "One of the more significant reasons domestic steel prices continue to rise is because of manufacturing capacity. Simply, there just is not enough manufacturing capacity for a broad spectrum of steel products, including in the construction industry, to keep up with demand.
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"With that noted, major steel manufacturers have plans to expand their production facilities in 2018. The result of this step will be to bring more finished steel onto the market, with the associated effect of notching down prices, at least to some degree. Another recurring and pervasive issue impacting the price of steel arises from weather-related manufacturing plant closures. This does happen every year. However, the number of plant closures associated with weather was higher in 2017. These closures contributed to the overall increase in the price of domestic steel, an impact that is still being felt as we move into 2018."
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As can be seen, even with the tariffs the price of steel will not improve domestically as the supply chain problems need to be addressed. In fact, several experts warn that building prices and manufacturing will start to see an uptick on the price of goods manufactured as costs are passed along to consumers.

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