prices may raise across the board


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BlkHawk73
March 13, 2004, 11:26 AM
Some of you may know but there is a steel shortage here in the US. we've already been told at work to expect a 6%-11% increase per month for a while. The word from the NTEA (natioanl truck equipment acc.) is that a lot of steel is being exported and not enough of being recyled. We've already seen increases at work. This has got to trickle down to gun buyers eventually. I'd suggest that those models you're putting of buying may want to become a bit closer to the top of your "gotta get" lists.
With the increased price we may see an increase in scrap prices so perhaps more peopl will clean up thier old junk and recycle it and help get the US steel inductry back into shape.

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Leatherneck
March 13, 2004, 11:32 AM
I dunno 'bout that, BH. I suspect that the cost of steel has little to do with the price of modern guns made of plastic, titanium, etc. Even for an all-steel weapon, I'd bet that labor cost far outstrips material cost in price determination. Anyway, I buy old guns more than new.

TC
TFL Survivor

ChairborneRanger
March 13, 2004, 11:33 AM
The U. S. Steel industry will 'get back in shape' when it quits paying it's average hourly production employee $83,000 a year in wages and benefits. No wonder they can't compete!

tiberius
March 13, 2004, 11:35 AM
I don't think raw steel prices affect consumer gun prices much. Legal liability cost increases should be our greatest concern. Look what happened to the light-aircraft business.

DigMe
March 13, 2004, 12:35 PM
$83,000 a year in wages and benefits. No wonder they can't compete!

If that's true then it's pretty ridiculous and I'm sure we have unions to thank for it.

brad cook

Hawk
March 13, 2004, 12:37 PM
Even the low-tech building product stuff my company deals with can absorb a doubling in steel sheet pricing with a 10% product increase - and that's a 50 pound door frame.

I don't know how much a doubling of steel would affect a $1000.00 1911, weighing around 2-1/2 pounds but I'm guessing on the south side of 5 bucks.

A 299.00 Rock Island and $2,999.00 Ed Brown aren't far apart in raw steel cost. I wouldn't be to concerned unless you're buying rebar.

fix
March 13, 2004, 12:59 PM
$83,000 a year in wages and benefits.

Wages and benefits. $83,000 isn't that high. Employing people is expensive. I'd guess the wage is actually around $50,000, which is barely enough to live on in some areas.

Ukraine Train
March 13, 2004, 02:05 PM
A friend of mine is in the scrap business. He said before Clinton came in scrap went for $100/ton and by the time he was out it was $20/ton. He barely makes enough to cover the gas in his car hauler when he takes a car to get scrapped.

Werewolf
March 13, 2004, 02:22 PM
FWIW the price of Aluminum has increased dramatically too. 4 months ago we were paying 72 cents a pound for billet now it's up to 91 cents a pound. In the business I'm in we can't absorb that kind of cost increase and have had to increase the selling price of our aluminum products (though not by as much as the cost of Al increased). The futures market indicates that the price per pound may get down to 85 or 86 cents a pound within the next 4 to 6 months - we hope.

I imagine that gun companies that make aluminum framed weapons will see a reduction in margins - and we may see a price increase as a result - but who knows?

abaddon
March 13, 2004, 02:27 PM
There's an article in today's London Times about a city in England that had 1,000's of manhole covers stolen and sold for scrap (probably sold to China). It turns out that the price for scrap metal has been steadily rising because China keeps industrializing on an exponential scale. Because they don't have a long history of industrialization they don't have the scrap metal reserves that most Western countries have. This easily explains the recent rise in scrap metal prices and it could explain the rise in steel prices. They may be communists, but 1 billion Chinese can still affect supply and demand. See below for the Times article. I don't have a link, but if you go to www.timesonline.co.uk you can search for "manhole" and it's there.




March 13, 2004
Police look into Great Drain Robbery
By Christine Buckley and Simon de Bruxelles
Manhole covers are disappearing at an alarming rate as thieves exploit China’s industrial boom

AN ECONOMIC boom in southern China; mysterious holes appearing in the streets of Gloucester, Grantham, Moldova and Shanghai — and scrap metal dealers have never looked so well fed.

This bizarre sequence of events is linked by an apparently random series of thefts of manhole covers from streets around the world as thieves cash in on the soaring price of scrap metal. Some in the metal recycling industry call it the great Chinese takeaway, or the Great Drain Robbery. Police, as they say, are looking into it.

But the theft of more than 80 manhole covers from the streets of Gloucester is no joke for local residents stuck in traffic jams or gingerly stepping round the holes in their roads. The audacious robbery is likely to cost local taxpayers at least £55,000. Many of the replacement covers have to be specially made at up to £700 each.

A spate of similar thefts across the country in recent weeks is now being linked to the economic boom in China, which has pushed the price of scrap metal to record levels.

In just two streets in the north of Gloucester, 26 manhole and drain covers were stolen overnight this week. More than 150 covers have been reported missing from Cambridgeshire, Lincolnshire and Norfolk in recent weeks, leaving holes up to 3 sq ft in the middle of the road.

The thieves who prised them up may get as little as £7.50 each for their late-night labours. But the drain covers are still easy pickings. One Gloucestershire scrap dealer, who asked not to be named, admitted it was unlikely that the thieves would have much difficulty selling their haul.

He said: “The Chinese are desperate for it. It will get melted down, cut into 2ft lengths and shipped off to China so it can come back as washing machines.” Britain is now the second-biggest exporter of scrap steel in the world after the US.

With prices soaring, the business is expected to continue to thrive. It is the much-lamented emasculation of manufacturing industry that has largely fuelled the growth.

With its early embrace of industrialisation and post-industrial decline, Britain has a huge supply of unwanted iron ripe for profitable export. Britons also buy and discard plenty of heavy-duty goods such as cars, fridges and cookers.

Scrap prices have spiralled from £40 a tonne in 2000 to between £100 and £120 a tonne now and exports have risen from 4.4 million tonnes in 2000 to 7.2 million tonnes last year. China, which is racing from agriculture to a fully industrialised economy, has precious little of its own scrap because it does not have the manufacturing legacy of the West nor a bank of used consumer goods to recycle.

The economic boom is having a huge impact on all raw material prices as the country sucks in vast amounts of iron ore and coke for steelmaking, building materials and energy resources. Last year its industrial output grew by 19 per cent, with heavy industry surging 9 per cent.

Steve Mackrell, operations director at the Iron and Steel Statistics Bureau, predicted that scrap prices would continue to rise. He said: “Scrap is finite. We only throw away so many old buildings, machines and cars.”

The result was gridlock on the streets of Gloucester as motorists tried to negotiate gaping holes in the road. The cast iron covers, each weighing between 8kg and 16kg, were lifted overnight. Police believe there were at least three men, probably dressed to look like council workers, using a flatbed lorry.

Forty-eight manhole and drain covers were stolen from 30 streets in the north of the city alone on Wednesday night. Two streets, Lansdown Road and Fircroft Road, between them lost 26 cast iron covers. Similar disappearances were reported near by in Tewkesbury and the Forest of Dean, as well as in villages around the city.

Frank Heggs, Gloucester’s engineering manager, warned members of the public to watch their step. He said: “Each cover will be worth around £7.50 at a scrap merchants, so for a night’s work the people that did this will get about £600 but we’ve been left with a bill for thousands.” The council is taking the precaution of making sure the replacements are “theft-proof” with hinges so they can be lifted but not removed.

The raid on Gloucester is the latest in a series of similar thefts. Last month Cambridgeshire County Council had to replace more than 150 covers taken over the course of a few days. Tony King, Cambridgeshire highways supervisor, said the cost of replacing them was taking money from other road improvements.

He said: “The cost of replacing the covers is money that could be spent repairing potholes or making road improvements. It is very dangerous, not only to motorists but also to pedestrians walking up the verge or across the road in the dark. They could quite easily fall down the hole and break a leg.”

More than £50,000 of covers have vanished in north Norfolk since the start of the year in St Germans, King’s Lynn and Downham Market.

But the thefts are relatively small compared to those reported in China itself.

In the space of 45 days this year, 1,826 manhole covers were reported stolen in Shanghai. Eight people who fell into uncovered drains were drowned, including a woman in her 80s and a four-year-old boy.

HOLE TRUTH
* First manhole covers date from the 1850s
* “Manhole” was first used for access holes between the decks of the (all-male) sailing ships
* New York has more than 600,000
* In America, attempts have been made to rename them “peoplehole covers”



edited to change spelling mistake

Diggler
March 13, 2004, 03:15 PM
Scrap prices are pretty good now. I took a load in this morning for my grandfather (he has a trucking business) and it was $5.50/100 lbs for #1 prepared steel. Pocketed $121.

abaddon
March 13, 2004, 03:18 PM
That's strange, because the Times article said the prices were high. Maybe it's different in the UK than it is in America, or maybe it's just that English papers aren't always very reliable.

Jeff

Kodiak AK
March 13, 2004, 08:06 PM
Interesting . So where does one go to get rid of scrap steel?
When the Army pulled out of here after WWII they just pushed a BUNCH of trucks , and engines and axles right off the sideds of a cliff.There is just piles of the stuff sitting there rusting away to nothing . Wonder if I could get enough for a M16?

Dave P
March 13, 2004, 09:28 PM
Florida small railroads sold a bunch of scrap tracks to the japs maybe back in the 30's. There were a lot of tracks out in the woods for the timber industry. Now all that is left are the ridges that they were on.


Trivia for you tonite.

Dave

geekWithA.45
March 13, 2004, 10:23 PM
Hmmm....I dunno.

In the NJ port cities (Secaucus, etc) there are literally MOUNTAINS of steel sea containers that have piled up.

Apparently, the deal is that it costs more to ship them back to China than for the Chinese to just make new ones.


If any of the assertions about scrap going to China are true, I'll keep an eye out to see if they stop growing/grow smaller.

atek3
March 13, 2004, 11:37 PM
Some of you may know but there is a steel shortage here in the US. we've already been told at work to expect a 6%-11% increase per month for a while. The word from the NTEA (natioanl truck equipment acc.) is that a lot of steel is being exported and not enough of being recyled.


With the increased price we may see an increase in scrap prices so perhaps more peopl will clean up thier old junk and recycle it and help get the US steel inductry back into shape.


The U. S. Steel industry will 'get back in shape' when it quits paying it's average hourly production employee $83,000 a year in wages and benefits. No wonder they can't compete!

Actually, parts of the steel industry are in shape. The (non-union) Mini-mills like Nucor have been making a profit, whereas the old inefficient union companies like U.S. steel have been beging the US government for welfare and tarriffs. Kinda funny actually, the US government imposes tariffs and the price of steel goes up (yet U.S. Steel continues to suck). The value of a dollar plummets by 30% and now steel prices are surging.


"You have the situation in China, with their huge increase in demand and the cutting of their exports of coke. You've got the Russians who are cutting virtually all of their exports on scrap. You've got a decreasing dollar value. And you've got demand for scrap from integrated producers increasing because their coke availability has decreased -- all at the same time. It's the perfect storm," he said.

(the preceeding is the increasing cost of steel from Nucor's point of view).

atek3

Highland Ranger
March 14, 2004, 09:34 AM
Sounds like a good excuse to buy guns; the one I'm using now is:

"But honey, when the smart gun law comes into effect I won't be able to buy any more guns"

and now I can add:

"But honey, steel is going UP - time to buy is now!"

Nathanael_Greene
March 14, 2004, 12:47 PM
A weaker dollar also means that guns imported to the US will be more expensive.

The answer is clear--buy those shootin' irons *now*.

And if prices don't go up, well, then, guns will still be cheap, so that's a good opportunity to buy more.

It's a win-win situation. Of course, our wives may not see it that way, but what the heck.

zahc
March 14, 2004, 01:00 PM
may raise across the board

May rise

My dad just bought a semi trailer and they said if he wanted another one it would be more expensive, because of the steel prices.

Penforhire
March 14, 2004, 09:30 PM
Steel? Hah! You should look at the ride palladium took. Went from $300-ish an ounce to over $1100 and back down (into the $200's) about a year ago. Talk about freaking out businesses! We were scrambling to find substitutes, not an easy task to replace some Pd alloys.

atek3
March 14, 2004, 09:59 PM
re: palladium rollercoaster,
platinum, nickel, and rhodium substitute well for a lot of applications, but admittedly, for industrial chemists it was a hassle to replace the main catalyst in a process with a new metal.

atek3

mete
March 14, 2004, 10:11 PM
China is buying 1/3 of the worlds steel production. Prices have gone up dramatically in the last few months and are expected to continue to rise. We are selling our scrap to them also.

greg531mi
March 14, 2004, 10:23 PM
gee, I heard this before, but with Japan buying all our scrap steel, just before they invaded china in the 30's.....I wonder if history repeats itself, maybe with new players......
Bye the way, must US steel companies are out of business, when foriegn steel is so cheap, and pay 40 cents per hour.....Would you work for that?

4v50 Gary
March 14, 2004, 10:35 PM
There was some article recently about the Chinese buying all our scraps not only to make export goods but also to build new buildings in China. To think that we rolled tanks off the decks of ships after WW II.

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