Specifically, we’re seeing increases, albeit uneven, in both ferrous and non-ferrous metals. Aluminum is up significantly over last year. Cold rolled carbon steel is only up 5% year-to-year but that’s almost a 25% jump from its May 2009 low. Stainless Steel pricing, which saw a big decline in 2008/2009, has stabilized and appears to be on the rise.
I’m not a commodities trader. Like all of us at Advanced Metal Products, I’m a metal fabricator. But it really doesn’t take a genius to see that distributor inventories are low and demand is beginning to pick up thanks to China and the government stimulus package, which boosted production of automobiles, household appliances and some electronics. So my guess is prices will continue to increase for the rest of the year and probably into 2011.
That’s my take on the situation. Feel free to leave me a comment and let me know if you agree or disagree.