This Market Intelligence Report focuses on the carbon steel marketplace in the United States from a supply chain sourcing perspective. The carbon steel report focuses on the output of steel mills, and does not cover fabricated products such as pipe or forgings, or steel product distributors. Primarily a concentrated and mature industry, carbon steel production has a consolidating supplier base and is decreasing at a low rate. The carbon steel category has a highly-commoditized product and serves primarily industrial, commercial, government and consumer markets. The demand for carbon steel is generated by various industries such as construction and transportation with primary drivers including manufacturing in these principle markets and overall economic activity, which includes the artificial demand and volatile prices created by institutional investments in commodities markets in 2008. Key costs around the carbon steel category include steel scrap, iron ore, direct labor, natural gas and coking coal. The major trends in the carbon steel industry center on demand and prices that have plunged as the economic slowdown spread from the United States to the rest of the world. As a base commodity, carbon steel has been impacted by sluggish economic activity. Though economic conditions first started weakening in the U.S., international markets have been greatly affected by the global credit crisis. Import activity in this sector is medium and is exhibiting a neutral trend. Regulatory considerations include potential tariff exposure and EPA guidelines to limit greenhouse gas emissions. The risk outlook for the carbon steel industry is increasing based on the macroeconomic environment and increased environmental regulation.
Starting with detailed background information to provide category context, this report provides insight into the market drivers around demand and key costs, including both historical and forecasted commodity pricing. The supply base section covers the top suppliers, including high-level overviews and market news. The report presents the NAICS category cost structure and historical, current and future pricing curves as well as average margins on a current and 5 year basis. The trend section reports new and emerging industry directions. Regulatory considerations include tariff and taxation issues and developing governmental initiatives. Risk outlooks offer a view into upstream drivers that could adversely affect the industry and category.