Following the acceptance of a 70% increase in iron ore prices, by Chinese and Japanese steel producers's Corus, Thyssen Krupp and Arcelor have agreed the same. This is not encouraging for people who were hoping for a "slowing down" in steel prices during 2005. A combination of customer overstocking, excess hot rolled coil stock and low market activity, had lead to prices slipping during December and January, but I suspect the holiday "sales" will be soon over.
I had been wondering for some time whether or not the shortage of iron ore and the general Western trend for the value of recycling might prove a boost to scrap based electric steelmaking, maybe this price increase will tilt the scales a little for some products. Coincidently, Corus have announced a six million pound investment in its Stocksbridge steel plant near Sheffield, yes they DO still make steel in Sheffield.
I must give a quick "heads up" to my friends at CSJ Coil Trading in Pensnett, who's expansion plans were reported in the Express and Star. They are opening a second slitting operation in Gornall, expanding their capacity and size range. They can be contacted on 01384 400 788. Good luck to Nigel, John and all the guys (Is this mention worth a curry chaps?)
I had toasted crumpets for my breakfast today, "back home" we called them pikelets, anyway that is less important than the fact they had arrived at their "use-by date", and being a Yorkshireman I had to do the economical thing and eat them. I don't like the look of the cheese that is lurking at the back of the fridge.