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The U.S. Steel Industry Outlook

The steel industry is vital to the economic competitiveness of the United States. Steel serves as the backbone to automobiles, bridges, buildings, railroads, and machinery and is an important component of national defense weapons. Industry consolidation is shutting the doors of once thriving steel plants. Industry unemployment figures continue to rise in regions with the highest concentration of steel mills, including New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Michigan. The U.S. government has taken some corrective steps to revive the overall economy and infuse steel demand in different facets of manufacturing. Out of the more than $780 billion stimulus package, about 15% of the amount is expected to be spent on infrastructural projects requiring steel as an essential construction raw material. This will transform in the consumption of around 11 million short tons of steel in various federal governments supported projects. Along with the government support, the recovering industrial sector is expected to further create steel demand in the U.S.

This SBI report, “The U.S. Steel Industry Outlook,” examines the competitive and economic challenges facing raw steel producers and end-users of steel. The analysis includes a historical perspective of the U.S. steel industry between 2006 and 2011 and forecasts the market value through 2022. The chapters discuss the key industries affected by U.S. steel production: construction, automotive, and machinery/equipment. It profiles the leading manufacturers of raw steel and values the import and export market of steel raw materials. We size the market based on historical data between 2002 to 2011 and forecast growth through 2022. Market sizing focuses on the stainless steel and ferroalloy steel segments. Our analysis takes a top-down approach to market projections in which we first estimate overall U.S. steel demand and production activity, including import and export values, and then extrapolate and project the value of select downstream steel products. The presentation of market data is as follows:

  • U.S. Steel Production and Value (in millions of tons and dollars), 2012 to 2022
  • U.S. Steel Industry Spending (in $ millions) on Raw Materials, 2012 to 2022
  • Value of U.S. Steel Industry Imports (in metric tons) of Carbon and Alloy and Stainless Products, 2006 to 2012
  • Value of U.S. Steel Industry Exports (in metric tons) of Carbon and Alloy and Stainless Products, 2006 to 2012
  • Total Economic Impact of U.S. Steel Industry (in $ thousands) and Other Steel Market Value Data, 2006 to 2009
  • Import/Export Value of Selected U.S. Steel Downstream Products, 2012 to 2022
  • Market Value (in $ millions) of U.S. Steel Consumption by Manufacturing Sector, 2012 to 2017
We also forecast market growth by U.S. state, based on geographic steel mill production, new steel mill construction, and market potential based on location. Our forecasts take into account the direct steel market value, which is based solely on steel production, and indirect steel market value, which accounts for spending within the steel industry on supplies and spending by U.S. consumers on finished goods that use steel. We analyze the factors affecting the livelihood of major consumers of U.S. steel output, in the following sectors:
  • Construction: U.S. construction of commercial and residential properties has been stagnant since 2008 when the domestic recession began. Steelmakers are feeling the effects of poor demand from the construction industry and the trend toward recovery may lie in construction and renovation of U.S. infrastructure, including bridges and tunnels.
  • Automotive: U.S. steel makers are riding the slow wave of economic recovery affecting the U.S. automobile manufacturing industry. Car makers are more often turning to cheaper imports of raw steel and lighter materials, and that is affecting the ability of steel makers to stay profitable.
  • Machinery: Manufacturers of appliances, military equipment, and other machinery dependent on steel production are also looking to innovate by incorporating less expensive polymers. Their lower dependence on steel is affecting how steelmakers market to machinery companies.


  • Executive Summary
    • The Global Steel Industry
      • Table Global Steel Production (in thousands of tons) by Region, 2006 to 2012
    • The Steel Industry in the United States
    • U.S. Among Globally Developed Steel Markets
    • Changing Structure of the Domestic Steel Industry
    • Automotive Industry is Top U.S. Steel Consumer
    • Construction Industry Depends on Steel
    • Heavy Equipment Manufacturing Relies on Steel
    • U.S. Steel Market Size
      • Table U.S. Steel Production and Value (in millions of tons and dollars), 2012 to 2017
      • Table U.S. Steel Production and Value (in millions of tons and dollars), 2018 to 2022
      • Table U.S. Steel Industry Spending (in $ millions) on Raw Materials, 2012 to 2017
      • Table Total Economic Impact of U.S. Steel Industry (in $ thousands) and Other Steel Market Value Data, 2010 to 2012
    • Employment Outlook
  • Introduction
    • Scope of This Report
    • Methodology
    • History of U.S. Steel
    • Steel Making Processes
    • Materials Used in Steel Making Processes
    • Stainless Steel Manufacturing Processes
      • Cold-Rolled and Hot-Rolled Steelmaking
    • Principal End Uses of Steel
  • Market Trends
    • The Global Steel Industry
      • Table Global Steel Production (in thousands of tons) by Region, 2006 to 2012
    • The Steel Industry in the United States
      • Table Global Steel Production (in thousands of tons) by Region, 2012 to 2017
      • Table Global Steel Production (in thousands of tons) by Region, 2018 to 2022
      • Table Global Steel Production (in millions of tons) by Country, 2006 to 2012
      • Table Global Steel Production (in millions of tons) by Country, 2012 to 2017
      • Table Global Steel Production (in millions of tons) by Country, 2018 to 2022
      • Table U.S. Steel Mills, Production (in metric tons) and Steel Value (in $ thousands) by State, 2012
    • U.S. Among Globally Developed Steel Markets
    • Safeguarding U.S. Steel
    • Changing Structure of the Domestic Steel Industry
    • Automotive Industry is Top U.S. Steel Consumer
    • Construction Industry Depends on Steel
    • Heavy Equipment Manufacturing Relies on Steel
  • Market Value
    • Table U.S. Steel Production and Value (in millions of tons and dollars), 2012 to 2017
    • Table U.S. Steel Production and Value (in millions of tons and dollars), 2018 to 2022
    • Table U.S. Steel Industry Spending (in $ millions) on Raw Materials, 2012 to 2017
    • Table U.S. Steel Industry Spending (in $ millions) on Direct Expenses, 2012 to 2017
    • Table U.S. Steel Industry Spending (in $ millions) on Direct Expenses, 2018 to 2022
    • Table U.S. Steel Industry Spending (in $ millions) on Raw Materials, 2018 to 2022
    • Table U.S. Steel Industry Imports (in metric tons) of Carbon and Alloy and Stainless Products, 2006 to 2012
    • Table U.S. Steel Industry Exports (in metric tons) of Carbon and Alloy and Stainless Products, 2006 to 2012
    • Table U.S. Steel Industry Imports (in $ thousands) of Carbon and Alloy and Stainless Products, 2006 to 2012
    • Table Total Economic Impact of U.S. Steel Industry (in $ thousands) and Other Steel Market Value Data, 2006 to 2009
    • Table Total Economic Impact of U.S. Steel Industry (in $ thousands) and Other Steel Market Value Data, 2010 to 2012
    • Table Total Economic Impact of U.S. Steel Industry (in $ thousands) and Other Steel Market Value Data, 2013 to 2017
    • Table Total Economic Impact of U.S. Steel Industry (in $ thousands) and Other Steel Market Value Data, 2018 to 2022
    • Table Value of U.S. Imports ($ thousands) of Carbon and Alloy Steel Products by Type of Product, 2006, 2011 and 2012
    • Table Value of U.S. Imports ($ thousands) of Stainless Steel Products by Type of Product, 2006, 2011 and 2012
    • Table Global Value (in $ thousands) of U.S. Imports of Carbon and Alloy Steel Products by Country of Origin, 2006, 2011 and 2012
    • Table Global Imports of U.S. Imports of Carbon and Alloy Steel Products (in thousands of tons) by Product, 2006, 2011 and 2012
    • Table Global Imports of U.S. Imports of Stainless Steel Products (in thousands of tons) by Product, 2006, 2011 and 2012
    • Table U.S. Imports of Selected Steel Products (in thousands of units), 2006 to 2012
    • Table U.S. Exports of Selected Steel Products (in thousands of units), 2006 to 2012
    • Table Market Value (in $ millions) of U.S. Steel Consumption by Manufacturing Sector, 2012 to 2017
    • Table Market Value (in $ millions) of U.S. Steel Consumption by Manufacturing Sector, 2018 to 2022
    • Table Market Value (in $ thousands) of U.S. Steel Production by State, 2012 to 2017
    • Table Market Value (in $ millions) of U.S. Steel Production by State, 2018 to 2022
    • Changes in U.S. Demand
      • Table U.S. Imports (in thousands of units) of Selected Downstream Steel Products, 2006, 2011 and 2012
      • Table U.S. Exports (in thousands of units) of Selected Downstream Steel Products, 2006, 2011 and 2012
  • Company Profiles
    • U.S. Steel
    • Nucor
    • AK Steel
    • Allegheny Technologies
    • ArcelorMittal
    • Gerdau Ameristeel
    • Ellwood Group
    • Charter Steel
    • Commercial Metals Corp.
    • Steel Dynamics
  • Employment Outlook

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