Market Update: The Complex State of Steel

Boyd Metals

As we sat down to write this article a year ago, no one could have foreseen the run-up in metals prices that would take place in 2018. Strong demand, coupled with the tariffs imposed by the Trump administration, sent prices to historic levels.

Though things have calmed since the instatement of the 232 tariffs, there are still a lot of factors at play that makes 2019 very difficult to forecast.

What to Expect in 2019

On the positive side, the manufacturing sector remains strong, consumer confidence is high, many companies enjoyed robust earnings in 2018 and have a desire to grow and expand. However, these positives don’t come without a potential downside. Trade concerns, financial market volatility, interest rate concerns and increased risk of bankruptcies are among the list of possible negatives.

Trying to discern which of these factors will come to the forefront in 2019 and which will fade into the background is without a doubt a challenge. One that makes prognosticating difficult. That being said, we look for manufacturing to remain strong due to a more pro-business environment.

Even if the tariffs are lifted, we believe that demand will support pricing at levels exceeding those prior to their implementation. Pricing is at historical highs, but we feel that it will remain relatively flat and potentially soften over the course of next year - providing more stable material costs for businesses operations that will trickle down to our customers.

Boyd Metals Responds to Uncertainty

From a Boyd Metals perspective, we continue to look for ways to grow and expand our market share. Increasing our geographic coverage and adding new additional processing services are a few examples of the growth that we have planned in 2019. The new business-friendly tax laws have freed up capital and are allowing us to significantly increase our capital spending. And we will certainly continue to reinvest in our company.

Several of our locations will see the addition of new racking systems to our warehouses and new material handling equipment is in place at virtually every location. Additional processing equipment is being studied and purchased including new brakes, saws, plate processors, lasers among other new types of equipment. And our Joplin location is making a major investment in renewable energy with the installation of solar panels to both their warehouse and offices.

These are certainly exciting times as we grow and feel out what this next year has in store. But no matter what changes are made, our promise is to continue to maintain our focus on you, our customer. Since 1991, Boyd Metals’ commitment has been to provide our customers, both old and new, with the best value and service in the metals service center industry and we will continue to do the same in 2019 - that’s one thing that is for certain.

We thank you for entrusting your business to us and we look forward to continuing to grow together. As things in the market change, we will continue to keep you updated. Subscribe to our blog to make sure you don’t miss any market updates.

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Tags: Metal Industry and Product Knowledge