2018 Industry Outlook: Buoyed by Steady Worldwide Growth, Steel Expected to Thrive

In Dust Control, Economy, Soil-Sement® by Lynn Cielec

2017 was a great year for the steel industry. A number of forecasts suggest that 2018 could offer more of the same.

According to multiple industry forecasts and projections, the steel industry is primed for a highly profitable 2018. In mid-October, Reuters reported that global steel prices had risen by 50% since reaching a 12-year low in 2015, and they haven’t shown any signs of decline since. While some experts caution that growth in the coming year might be less explosive than in 2017, steel manufacturers should still expect a productive year.

Upward Trends Worldwide

Much of the recent growth in the steel industry came in the aftermath of the 2016 presidential election. The Trump Administration’s commitment to reviving heavy industry in the U.S. left many steel companies hopeful that the new president’s promises would yield significant infrastructure spending. Backed by this newfound confidence, steel stocks rose considerably after the results of the election were first announced.

Boosts in construction and development worldwide also contributed significantly to the recent boom. According to Zacks Equity Research, the homebuilding and automotive industries in newly industrialized countries have stimulated demand for steel throughout the world. Housing and construction consume nearly half of the world’s steel, and spending in both sectors has increased as a result of rising urban populations in countries like China and India. As these countries continue to invest in skyscrapers, public transportation, and automobiles, steel manufacturers will continue to benefit.

India in particular is poised to capitalize on this rising demand. The country is already the world’s fourth-largest producer of steel, and it’s also enjoying especially rapid growth in its automotive and home building sectors.

Moderate But Steady Demand

It’s worth noting that the steel industry might enjoy less growth in some markets this coming year. After hitting 1.622 billion tons in 2017, global demand for steel is currently projected to grow more modestly in 2018, reaching 1.648 billion tons. In addition, Zacks Equity Research reports that developed regions will see a growth rate of 0.9% in 2018, compared with 2.3% in 2017. In some developing countries like Egypt and Argentina, however, growth is expected to rise dramatically in 2018, from 2.8% to 4.9%.

As long as growth remains constant, the steel industry should have a bright future ahead.

Keeping Steel Mills Dust-Free

Aside from shifts in demand, steel manufacturers face another challenge in the course of day-to-day operations: dust on worksites and access roads. Fortunately, Midwest Industrial Supply, Inc. has worked with steel mills and factories for over four decades to treat their storage yards and roads with our patented dust control products.

All of our managed service programs are backed by synthetic organic products such as EnviroKleen®, the first Synthetic Organic Dust Control® product on the market. Unique in the industry, this product has a binder system that captures fines and keeps them locked into the surface, preventing fugitive dust from escaping. When used correctly, EnviroKleen traps dust as soon as it’s generated and reinforces the roadbed, effectively suppressing dust for months at a time.

Over the years, we’ve found that our turnkey approach to dust control greatly reduces maintenance costs and heightens efficiency throughout the worksite. Regardless of your company’s needs, we can work with you to develop a customized application plan for your operation.

If you’re looking to take advantage of rising demand for steel, Midwest stands ready to help.

Lynn Cielec is the Industrial Business Unit Manager at Midwest Industrial Supply. She is an experienced executive sales director with a proven track record of results and sales growth. Effectively utilizes consultative selling methodologies within a CRM system while incorporating other value based selling tools. Expertise in building and leading high performing sales teams, strategic planning, P & L management, new business development, compensation development, market/trend analysis, new product launches and multi-sales channel distribution.