With the depression of steel prices on the global market, it has become less expensive, in many cases, to import raw steel from China to finish at local metal manufacturing facilities than to buy locally. Demand currently doesn’t match output, which creates a buyer’s market for steel.
Although price is the major reason to import steel, other reasons include:
- Depressed prices. Again, China steel manufacturers have overproduced product for what the demand is global. This has caused a depression of steel prices for both foreign and domestic steel. With relaxed tariffs in the US, the cost of imported steel is still less than that of domestic manufacturers and steel mills.
- Over ordering. Having a lot of raw material setting around can work to your benefit. China’s steel industry has started to slow down their production, but the raw material has already been acquired and is costing manufacturer’s overhead costs just to keep it.
- High-quality. China’s government has recently tightened up their regulations concerning steel mills, closing many that couldn’t maintain the minimum standards set. This has left the companies that are still in business taking a greater concern on the quality of their products and manufacturing methods.
- Excellent customer service. With the slowing down of production, China’s steel manufacturers are fighting harder over a smaller market share and offering inducements to get your business. One of the primary inducements they can offer is excellent customer service and keeping current and potential customers happy and satisfied.
- Price locks. Taking the worry out of a fluctuating market price helps raw steel importers control their bottom line. Instead of waiting for the price to creep down, inhibiting manufacturing while waiting for the price to bottom out, you can plan ahead for costs by ordering now, at the current rate, and having the steel shipped to your facility on your schedule.
- Dependable shipping schedules. With the accumulation of raw materials, scheduling your order becomes easier. The Chinese companies already have the material for your order in stock and can begin work on it, immediately. This allows for planned ordering and shipping without having to worry about the global market availability.
- Tariff issues. Currently, the trade atmosphere between China and the US favors the import of steel over buying it within the US. Importing steel, even with the costs of transportation factored in, costs about 10% less than buying from US suppliers.
Modernized facilities and an emphasis on increasing their economic output have made the current dynamic between China and the US a perfect place for finished steel manufacturers. Latest steel prices, cheap shipping and a ready supply of materials will keep Chinese steel flowing into the American marketplace as long as the market will sustain it or until the government steps in to put an end to the market status that Chinese steel currently enjoys.