I spotted the following story at Business Week online. It seems that some of the European Stainless Producers have been “getting their heads” together on prices.
BRUSSELS -(Dow Jones)- Europe’s highest court Thursday upheld a lower-court ruling on fines for stainless steel makers involved in a cartel in the mid- 1990s.The European Court of Justice dismissed appeals brought by two ThyssenKrupp AG (TKA.XE) subsidiaries and Spanish steel maker Acerinox SA (ACX.MC). The firms claimed the lower court made errors in assessing the case and made “defective statements” in its judgments.ThyssenKrupp Acciai speciali Terni SpA and ThyssenKrupp Stainless Steel GmbH will pay fines of EUR4,032,000 each and Acerinox will pay a EUR3,136,000 fine, the European Court of Justice said in its ruling.
Full story here
It has always been a well known secret that the steel producers communicate on pricing. They of course feed each other bullshit most of the time, but get a little nearer to the truth when they are all busy. Watch the buggers scramble though when orders are in short supply. Then it’s every man for himself and all the “talk” amounts to nowt!
In truth the steel industry has never been able to control prices, its’ not for lack of trying, they are just not very good at it.