What Influences the Price of Steel?

Steel is a global commodity, and its price varies daily based on a variety of factors. From supply and demand to the strength of the American dollar, seasonality to global pandemics, these factors and more combine to determine the price of steel for manufacturers, buyers, and consumers.

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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

The price of your steel building, in part, is determined by its size and customization options. Those are internal factors that you can control. But the price of steel, an external factor, also significantly affects the final cost of your steel building. That’s why we examine the most authoritative sources in the industry to produce our annual forecast. When you’re equipped with the most accurate information on steel pricing, you can determine the best time to lock in your steel building price

Steel Prices in Hindsight

2020 Steel Price History and Events

Discover why a drop in steel prices was temporary and the pandemic changed the landscape for this commodity overnight.

2020 Steel Prices in Hindsight

2021 Steel Price History and Events

See how steel is finally making a comeback now that lockdowns are ending, vaccines are being distributed, and businesses are opening.

2021 Steel Prices in Hindsight
Steel Prices April 2021 to April 2021
After bottoming out in November 2021, steel prices are expected to return to mid-2021 levels after the microchips needed for auto manufacturing become available again in the second half of 2022. Source: Trading Economics

The Return of Microchips and Steel Demand for Cars

Many things have been in short commodity since the pandemic. One of those things that drastically effects the price of steel are the microchips used in vehicles. As you might expect, a large portion of all steel manufactured goes into the automotive industry. However, many auto companies have either lowered their steel spending or stopped it altogether because of this microchip shortage.

Less cars being manufactured means less demand for steel, which in turn, has made steel cheaper. Although we have seen this of late, many experts are predicting a boom in steel price due to the expectation that these microchips will be making a come back in the second half of 2022. Once this happens, steel will once again be poured back into the auto industry raising the rarity and price of it again. Read here for more information.

Steel Supply and Demand 101

Today's Current Steel Price

According to tradingeconomics.com steel prices bottomed out in April 2020 before recovering in November and December 2020. Prices are expected to continue to increase due to a lack of supply and increasing demand as the United States and China’s economies rebound from the pandemic.

Why Steel Prices Are Measured in Yuan

Trading Economics presents the price of steel according to the Chinese currency called Yuan. This is primarily due to the fact that China is the world’s largest producer and typically the biggest consumer of steel. To convert the steel price from the graph, simply use this currency converter to see the exchange rate between Chinese Yuan and American Dollar.

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