By far the most important factor behind steel's revival, however, is China's booming economy. China's soaring demand for steel sent prices spiralling upwards until recently: benchmark hot-rolled coil, which sold for as little as $200 a tonne in 2001, broke the $600 barrier in 2004, though prices have since fallen back (see chart). The boom in prices ushered in a time of profits and high valuations in a business where bail-out and bankruptcy had previously been the norm. (Economist.com, 11/25/05.)
It could be interesting to see what the former chief executive of Nucor, John Correnti, will achieve with his $880 million mini-mill joint venture.
The Institute for Supply Management will release its Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI) next week. BusinessWeek is reporting some "vital signs":
The Institute for Supply Management's business activity indexes have also pointed to jobs gains, especially in the manufacturing sector. A faster pace of job growth is important for consumer spending and would reflect increased business confidence. (BusinessWeek.com, 11/25/05.)
Have you read American Steel by Richard Preston?
Related: My post, "ASSOCIATED STEEL" VERSUS "REARDEN STEEL"?