Steel industry positioned to recover

After a dramatic reduction in demand for steel and iron during the recession, the industry is rebounding with the growth of automotive sales and the housing recovery. Steel manufacturing is expected to recover 2.2 percent to $115.6 billion in 2013, according to a recent report from IBISWorld, a market research company. As demand continues to increase, firms may want to seek the services of steel industry recruiters to find new talent.

The steel industry was severely impacted by the recession, since most of its demand comes from other manufacturing sectors. Steel demand is highly volatile and dependent on other industries, and as home construction and auto sales slowed, steel took a huge hit, according to IBISWorld. Since the global economy is still recovering, demand has fluctuated up and down since 2009, and prices are expected to drop slightly in 2013 as international markets continue to recover. Due to decreased demand, steel manufacturers dramatically cut production levels to maintain profit margins and attempted to reduce costs through scrap-steel recycling to save on raw materials. However, output recovered significantly in 2010 and 2011 and is expected to continue expanding through 2013. IBISWorld predicted steel prices will generally increase and output growth will drive revenue gains for the next five years as the industry gets closer to a full recovery. 

Rising steel demand
As commercial construction and automotive sales continue to increase, steel production is expected to grow to meet demand, although the industry will not experience a full recovery to pre-recession levels until 2015, according to Bloomberg. The 2013 increase in global steel use is expected to bring the U.S. industry to 92 percent of its 2007 levels. 

Steel industry executives foresee the energy boom will improve steel production, MarketWatch reported. Surveyed professionals said the Keystone Pipeline construction will boost steel shipments. Decreased gas prices could help the steel industry achieve a significant rebound toward pre-recession levels, since steel manufacturing is energy-intensive. Cheaper natural gas prices would allow the industry to take advantage of cost savings and remain internationally competitive. 

As steel demand increases, manufacturers and other businesses may soon see significant growth. Companies may seek to add new staff as global demand continues to rise. Firms looking to expand can consult steel industry recruiters to find qualified talent. 

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