United States Metals Report Q4 2013
Published by Business Monitor International
on Sep 9, 2013
, 68 pages
PDF - Download Now with 3 Quarterly Updates format - Download Now
Our forecasts across the refined metals sector in the US remain tepid as the country's economic recovery remains steady but less than robust, and as the long-term trend of declining consumption and metal intensity per unit of economic grow continue to play out. In the short term we e expect refiners and metal producers will continue bringing production back online as the country's economic outlook improves, particularly in the construction and automotive sectors. That said, production and consumption will likely remain below pre-crisis levels as Chinese growth slows in H213, eurozone demand remains weak, and inventories stay elevated.
We believe slow but steady growth in the metals sector will roughly track broader GDP growth, which we forecast to average 2.4% from 2013 to 2017. Gains in the manufacturing, including automotive, and construction sectors should lead to steady, though low, growth. However, elevated inventories, weak foreign demand, and increased competition from cheap imports will cap production increases. Data available through to June 2013 indicate that while metal industry activity has increased since the end of 2012, recent growth has slowed in the metals industry.
The US metals sector does rely somewhat on imports of some mineral inputs such as bauxite and tin. We forecast little change in the nature of US metals trade, but recognise that sharp changes to metals prices could affect this dynamic. We expect the bulk of metals sector production will be supplied by domestic mineral resources to support US industries rather than for export abroad. We also note that domestic US companies will dominate production of their respective metals, although laws on foreign ownership of US based companies enables some foreign companies to operate as well, with various foreign steel firms maintaining US operations.