What Influences the Price of Steel?

Steel building pricing is more complicated than you might assume. Steel is a global commodity and that means the price of steel varies on a daily basis. Prices can be influenced by several factors, including natural disasters, the strength of the American dollar, and the general condition of the world economy.

Domestic Factors

  • The strength of the United States dollar
  • Demand for steel used in any product
  • Trade tariffs

Global Factors

  • General condition of the world economy
  • Natural disasters
  • Wars and other political events

The Pricing Factors You Control vs External Influencers

While some factors that influence the cost of your metal building like the size and the components added to create a custom metal building are within your control, many of the ingredients that influence the current price of steel are external forces. This is why we continually review the world’s most authoritative sources on steel prices and publish our forecast. Knowing the current facts will help you determine the right time to lock your steel building price.

2018 versus 2019 Steel Prices Worldwide

Today's Current Steel Price

According to tradingeconomics.com steel prices reached a peak in January 2018 and while prices are relatively low today, prices are expected to remain volatile and could easily return to that near historic level.

Will USA Steel Prices Follow the World's Lead?

As demand increased, so too did supply as improving economic conditions worldwide contributed to a better-than-expected year for the steel industry. Those conditions contributed to high steel prices globally, although right now, prices are relatively low in the United States this year compared to last year (below).

First Quarter 2018 Steel Price Compared to Current Price

2019 Steel Price Forecast

This could be one of the most difficult projections in years, as trade tensions between the U.S. and China add a significant amount of uncertainty to the mix. In its semi-annual report, the World Steel Association projects consistent increases in demand across the globe. Al Remeithi, chairman of the World Steel Economics Committee, pointed to the past year’s consistency:

“In 2018, global steel demand continued to show resilience supported by the recovery in investment activities in developed economies and the improved performance of emerging economies.”

That projection is balanced by concerns over global trade policy that could weaken demand as well as China’s commitment to enforcing environmental regulations. These factors, combined with currency instability and a slowing global economic growth, all pose risks to steel demand.

All considered, steel prices at the beginning of 2019 are relatively low when compared to 2018. We expect that price to gradually rise as trade tensions ease, global and U.S. demand continues its resilience, and China’s recent surge in production tails off.

Supply and Demand 101

When Should You Lock Your Building Price?

If you’re looking to invest in a steel building, it’s important to take notice of these factors as they will greatly affect the price of your building. Steel prices, despite near record levels in 2018, are still historically low. Locking a price in at the current low steel prices is a great way to capitalize on the market and maximize the value of your steel building.

When we talk about locking a price in, we are referring to an advantage General Steel offers to potential buyers. Upon signing a contract to buy one of our steel buildings, General Steel allows you to lock the price of your steel building kit for up to 90 days. Locking your price allows you to avoid the big swings in steel pricing and a surprising price tag on delivery day. As a successful business for more than two decades, General Steel has the stability and buying power to offer the highest quality product at a price you can afford.

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