MetalMiner Presents Webinar On Where Steel Is Headed; Metalwest on Lean Metal Supply

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Metal Prices

Join MetalMiner and Metalwest for a webinar tomorrow, Jan. 27 at 10:00 AM CDT, for a co-presentation of a steel price and market outlook for the upcoming year, as well as how new ways of lean sourcing can improve profitability. Metal price and cost of business look to loom large in 2011, as raw materials are demanding a premium and emerging markets in China, the other BRIC economies and elsewhere show few good signs of slowing down.

Lisa Reisman, MetalMiner’s editor, takes myriad economic factors and drivers into consideration to present her outlook on the steel market an outlook that comes from a range of experience.

Tim Maierhofer, general manager at Metalwest, will present “Improving Profitability Through Lean Metal Supplier Programs: How a Lean Supplier Can Help You Find Other Ways to Improve Profitability. Tim has years of practical experience under his belt when it comes to lean programs, and will walk through a number of scenarios dealing with 5S, SMED, and other approaches.

Prices for both raw materials and finished steel products are hitting record highs.

Just over the past week, the Financial Times released a veritable month’s worth of steel reporting. In one article, executives and analysts have said “steel prices are set to jump by up to 66 per cent this year¦a burst of inflation on a scale the industry has suffered just once in the past 70 years. This panel of experts projects a year-on-year price rise of 32 percent by the end of 2011.

So that’s what’s going on with the outputs what of the inputs? Another article focuses on the iron ore prices reaching record highs. “Supply disruptions in India caused price spikes ahead of the Chinese New Year. The Australian spot price for the raw steelmaking ingredient reached $185 per ton, if one factors in freight costs, and $177.90 if one doesn’t, according to Platts. This was mainly due to an Indian state cracking down on iron ore exports (although just today, Reuters reported that Brazil is doubling their iron ore output.)

As we know, China’s market (and predominant BOF production) almost single-handedly accounts for global iron ore demand. However, yet another FT article finds that China’s growth in steel production may not be as hearty compared to the rest of the world as it has been before. Sixteen experts brought together by the FT expect global output “to climb 6.2 percent to about 1.5 billion tons, with an increase of 5.2 per cent in China and 7 per cent by countries outside.

All things considered, though, a bullish environment on steel prices is heating up all the more reason for companies to implement the most effective lean techniques to get the most out of their steel spend.

–Taras Berezowsky

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