Thursday, July 21, 2005

Steel and Stuff

According to MEPS latest price report, this months further price falls may be “bottoming out” in the long products sector, but steel strip prices may have a little way to go yet.
Further price cuts for both flat and long products in European markets were widely expected this month – and values have duly fallen. The Summer holiday season is usually a quiet period in the steel market. Nevertheless, the first indications have appeared that the bottom of the current price cycle may be nearing for long products. For strip products, the situation is much less encouraging
The full report can be read here

More than 150 years of steel-making came to an end last week at the Corus plant at Stocksbridge near Sheffield.

The company says worldwide competition and over-capacity are to blame for the cut backs which were announced two years ago.Over 350 jobs have been lost and a history of steel-making in the town dating back to 1851 has ended.However, some jobs will remain at the Stocksbridge plant as steel finishing work will continue to be done there.Samuel Fox, from Bradwell in Derbyshire, founded the Stocksbridge Steel Works in the Upper Don Valley about ten miles north of Sheffield.Today, out of a population of 14,000, most families have had some connection with the steelworks.A similar number of jobs have been lost at the Corus plant in Rotherham where production has been scaled back.

When I worked at Brinsworth Strip Mills, a number of our specialist steel grades were melted at Stocksbridge, it’s sad to see they are closing.

Anyone interested in the chaos that is the Chinese Steel Industry might find Andrews posting, highlighting conflicting views on the future of their steel industry here .

Finally and “off topic”, I read with dismay an article in the Manchester Evening News, regarding a proposal to be put forward at an upcoming annual teachers conference, that the word “failure” on examination results should be replaced with the phrase “deferred success”! I am no fan of modern “wrap in cotton wool” attitudes to teaching and apart from the fact this would seem to devalue the “real” pass mark, is it right to pretend to our kids that there is no such thing as failure? How do we measure success then? One day the kids are going to be out in the real world, it’s a pity more of the teachers weren’t

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