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US Steel Plate Prices Plunge in September 2023 as UAW Strike Hits Automotive Sector
US Steel Plate Prices Plunge in September 2023 as UAW Strike Hits Automotive Sector

US Steel Plate Prices Plunge in September 2023 as UAW Strike Hits Automotive Sector

  • 21-Sep-2023 4:45 PM
  • Journalist: Jacob Kutchner

In the week ending September 21, the price of Steel Plate declined in the US spot market as the demand from the Automotive industry dampened amidst the Union Auto Workers' Strike. The strike has affected three major automotive plants across the USA. Furthermore, the bidding deal of United States Steel Corporation, a major producer of Steel Plate in the USA, has been in a heated situation as the sales process gets underway. Additionally, the strike by UAW workers incited US Steel to curtail the production rate of Steel Plates in one of their blast furnaces at its Granite City plant. Meanwhile, the talk goes on as Stellantis offers a deal. Still, UAW rejects it and has given the three major automotive manufacturing companies a final date of Friday noon to resolve the issues.

The supply of Steel Plate remains on a higher edge as the production of upstream crude steel increased by 0.7% from the previous week and a 2.8% hike concerning the previous year's output. The crude steel production accounted to be about 1.7 million metric tons. The inventory consumption of Steel Plate raw materials, such as Iron ore, increased by a value of 0.5% in the previous week, supporting the production rate hikes. Furthermore, the US Steel plant has announced that it would lay off the production line, including that of Steel Plate in its Granite City plant, and plans to focus manufacturing on its other plant sites. This was provoked by the damping demand from the downstream automotive sector as the UAW strike drastically affected the manufacturing and delivery processes. The fabrication rate of Steel Plate remains on a higher edge as the local mills, such as United States Steel Corporation, plan to join forces with the National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL), a US-based laboratory under the Department of Energy Office of Fossil Energy.

Meanwhile, the demand for Steel Plate shrinks in the US spot market as the consumption rate in the downstream automotive and parts manufacturing industries reduces amidst the UAW strike. The major jeep manufacturing company, Stellantis, gave the union a new contract proposal, giving them some hope for a breakthrough. They offered a 20% raise in income for 4.5 years till 2027. Union Auto Workers opposed this deal as it was about half the raise asked by the workers in the previous deal. UAW has given a time limit of Friday noon to rethink the proposal. Otherwise, they plan to expand their strike to several other major auto manufacturing plants, impacting the further consumption rate of Steel Plate. Furthermore, till now, three major sites have been affected by the auto strike at the Michigan Assembly Plant, Toledo Assembly Complex, and Wentzville Assembly Plant in the USA, shifting the US steel Plate market in a downward direction. These plants were major manufacturing sites of four-wheeler heavy pick-up trucks such as Ford Bronco, Jeep Wrangler, Chevrolet Colorado, and other major models. Stellantis plans to likely shut operations at 18 plant sites if the strike effects get drastic in the upcoming week. These factors deduced the demand for Steel Plates in the US spot market.

According to ChemAnalyst, the price of Steel Plate is expected to remain on a lower edge as the demand plunges from the end-use industries of the Automotive sector. Furthermore, the upstream crude steel production rate expansion will increase the inventory level of Steel Plate, provoking local mills to decrease their price and offer discounts to attract consumers from the US spot market.

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