Materials and Services - Direct

Metals

Is demand returning?

Issue 5 - April 2012

In a recent monthly report, the Metals Service Center Institute indicated that shipments from service centers were up sharply and similarly inventories were showing a decline in stock on hand. Members in North America reported a 25 percent increase in steel and aluminium shipments in January compared to December. However, buyers are urged not to rely too heavily on short-term statistics, but to take a long term view.

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Mergers and acquisitions abound

Issue 4 - January 2012

Global companies are taking advantage of historically low interest rates, with more than 60 merger and acquisition deals occurring in the past two quarters. Their primary focus has been on emerging markets such as China and India, with an average deal reaching $800 million; a trend that is said to continue throughout 2012.

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Macroeconomics rule as non-ferrous metal prices plummet

Issue 3 - September 2011

Following Standard & Poor’s downgrading of the US credit rating, aluminium, copper, lead, and nickel all plunged more than 10 percent in less than two weeks, proving yet again how vulnerable metal buyers are, to volatile factors beyond their control. Non-ferrous metal exchanges are being heavily impacted by actions taken by market investors rather than by fundamental supply and demand dynamics.

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Reduce exposure to raw materials

Issue 2 - June 2011

Rising raw material prices underline the importance of focusing sourcing efforts on metal components that are less sensitive to raw material costs, with machined metal components historically the best option to pursue for their comparative resiliency to raw material volatility.

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The global rise of steel and aluminum prices.

Issue 1 - March 2011

The global manufacturing recovery coupled with a desire on the part of metals producers to avoid building capacity too quickly has led to a supply and demand imbalance as we enter 2011. With the continuing price increases of these and other metals and with steady demand and low inventories – are we heading for a crisis?

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Plastics, Chemicals,
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Natural Gas phenomenon
Natural gas prices have dropped to their lowest levels since 2002 which is good news for consumers and is due to the curtailed consumption across North America as a result of a relatively mild winter. This has led gas generators to produce higher-value petroleum liquids to help offset reduced revenue from gas sales. This competitive market dynamic may spur merger and acquisition activity in the North American market, and international players may find their way into the mix.
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