Despite increased demands for steel from end-use industries such as automotive, construction, and energy sectors, steel production has declined globally. Simultaneously, steel prices have remained weak; further declines in prices are expected as demand growth flattens. A positive note from this is the decrease in iron ore prices, which could lower production costs for steel makers. Also, demand for aluminum has increased, showing that the surplus in capacity may end soon. This is partly driven by the increased use of lightweight alloys in automobiles and aircrafts.
Strong growth in the United States GDP (4.6 percent in the second quarter) combined with improvements in key end-use sectors such as automotive and construction, should drive increased demand, leading to a need for increased capacity.