Despite all the talk of a recession, steel demand in some key markets is showing signs of growth.
ArcelorMittal has predicted Brazil’s consumption will double within a decade as the country struggles to meet massive infrastructure needs, and Stelco Holdings Inc., Canada’s biggest producer, said prices have bottomed out after the biggest drop in at least the Great recession.
The executives’ comments signal a glimmer of hope for an industry that relies on demand to produce everything. From skyscrapers to cars, washing machines and tractors. It also provides some optimism for the broader economy, which has been hit by a slowdown in China’s large real estate sector, ongoing problems in the semiconductor supply chain that have slowed car production, and an energy crisis in Europe and China threatening to halt production.
Manufacturing performance was mixed, with U.S. trading activity down one day and capital goods orders up the next.
Caterpillar Inc., one of the world’s largest equipment manufacturers, warned earlier this month of declining sales in China and across Asia, while Deere & Co. cut its full-year forecast due to rising selling costs and a slowdown in the supply chain.