Steel shortage

Recently, Nissan Manufacturing shut down a vehicle plant because of a
shortage of steel. Toyota is touting a new composite truck bed as a
design improvement, which I think it is, but I can't help but think it
was hurried along by a steel shortage.
Last I checked, steel scrap was going for $400+ a ton. The American
minimills are trying to have the export of scrap banned. Word is that
the Chinese are gobbling up steel like nobody's business. Will this
finally get municipalities to run their trash past a magnet before
they landfill it?
I would like to read the views of those in various aspects of the
industry on this issue.-Jitney
Reply to
jitney
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I wonder if Kobe Steel's construction of an iron nuggets, the Itmk3 process, plant in northern Minnesota has become feasible owing to the above reported steel shortages. Minnesota has never before been feasible, because although rich in ore there is a lack of coal for coking (notwithstanding North Dakota's lignites) and suitable limestone for flux, slag. The Itmk3 process smelts iron ore with coal (not coke) and an unspecified flux. If straight coal is used, I would think the iron nuggets would be rich in sulfur and phosphorus. The resultant steels would likely be both hot short and cold short.
Reply to
John Ferman
If by composite you mean a part made from organic materials, this will be made from oil, have you looked at the oil price recently!
The car companies would not accept price increases when raw materials prices were raised for the steelmakers, forcing steel makers to sell at a loss until the contract came up for renewal. So now some are reaping what they sowed!
Reply to
David Deuchar
Yes, it hasn't been that long since the world was swimming in a glut of excess production capacity. Some rationalization was needed. The pendulum swings one way and then the other, you wish it would settle down in the middle. I think the composite truckbed is a genuine engineering improvement, better strength/weight ratio, dent and corrosion resistant, etc. and probably would have happened anyway.-Jitney
Reply to
jitney
Jitney your observation of China gobbling up steel scrap iron ore is correct.The price mentioned by you 0f 40cents/kilo and they offer castings delivered to US at 78 cents/kilo. This is really not comprehensible if they could convert at such low prices. Similarly Iron ore mines are either doing brisk business or sunk. The strategy is to offer 110+US$/ton,payment in advance and subsequent payment deferred and finally vanish. Default rates are very high and lawyers are having brisk business in Singapore and Hongkong.There is no way you can get hold of the Chinese. This seems to be an organized conspiracy.
Stainless steel prices have gone sky rocketing. I do not know where this will lead to?
I have a small steel foundry in India and I place these comments or observation based on daily experiences.
Reply to
Arun Rao
Your observation on Chinese business practices are consistent with my experiences. For instance, I just led an investigation into glass fiber reinforced plastic parts that had a high breakage rate. The specification called for x% milled fiberglass, and balance resin. The burn test indicated the right percentages, but further testing revealed that the Chinese supplier had substituted roughly a third of the fiberglass with a cheap mineral filler. Another example (among many others) was a batch of nickel bronze marine propellers that were "rusting". Sure enough, the Chinese supplier had added a large percentage of iron to the castings. Just be glad we don't buy pharmacueticals from the Chinese(or do we?).-Jitney
Reply to
jitney
Not conventional pharmaceuticals, but a lot of foods, quack medicines, and traditional Chinese herbal products, any many of them have quality and contamination issues. You usually won't see them unless you shop at Oriental food stores or visit traditional Chinese medical practitioners. For example, roasted melon seeds are a favorite Oriental snack food and they are often colored with a red dye. Some Chinese and Vietnamese manufacturers have been caught using rhodamine, which has been banned in the U.S. for over 50 years due to carcinogenicity. (To be fair, I believe they're now banned in China and Vietnam too, but lack of controls and government corruption makes it possible for some of this material to reach the U.S.).
Reply to
Mark Thorson
Ordinary cast iron impellers are plated and shipped as copper base castings. There is no end to this,yet US markets continues to be supported by Chinese products. It is Christmas time,please check if even 1 Christmas tree is made in US. Almost all are from China
Quality and awareness should be the criterion and not costs.US champions democracy the world over, yet the business turns towards China for cheap solutions
Reply to
Arun Rao
Integrity and truthfulness should be the common language and trade, and though the Chinese have no monopoly on deception and cheating, any country that wants to become truly advanced must have legal procedures for holding malefactors accountable, that treat foreigners fairly and equally in their courts. This the Chinese seem to lack, worse yet, the bad actors are oftentimes government officials themselves. The only good thing that can come of this is that the corruption will keep China from being too powerful and thus a threat to world peace.-Jitney
Reply to
jitney
Nothing prevents Chinese manufacturers from forming their own industrial associations, setting standards, and enforcing those standards among their members. If a private certification agency were to earn the trust of foreign customers, that could substitute for government regulatory bodies.
Alternatively, foreign manufacturers can send in their own people to supervise Chinese manufacturing operations, which is already being done. It's the foreign customers who buy from self-supervised Chinese manufacturers who are getting screwed. (Or the customers of those customers -- like people who shop at Wal-Mart.)
Reply to
Mark Thorson
This problem with China, Chinese Businesses and the Chinese business legal code (non-existant not long ago) has been known for a long time.
I read of it almost 10 years ago in a book on "Doing Business With China".
The basic remedies were spelled out in the book.
The book was wwritten by a Chinese author.
I wonder how much or how little has been done since then. It is a non-trivial topic.
Jim
Reply to
jbuch
My wife has a simple solution to it: don't buy anything from China unless it's absolutely necessary. We have another rule, if we can buy it made in North America or Europe for 1/3rd more then we automatically do, we figure that we'll get at least 1/3rd more life out of the article anyhow. Prices higher than that are debated on the merits. Store prices are typically 3 times the cost to the merchant. Shipping the article here is part of that 1/3rd. If we buy a product made here then we keep our nieghbours employed and they can buy our products. It's awsome that Wal-mart only buys foriegn goods then uses workers who are legally so poor as to require state assistance (California) to outprice and bankrupt local businesses, all so that a few fundamentalist Christians living in Oklahoma or wherever can become billionaires!
Z
Who lives in Hongcouver.
Reply to
KC Armstrong
"Integrity and truthfulness" all in the same sentence as "should be" and "trade"- what world do you live in? It aint possible! Dog eat dog and the devil takes the hindmost. Get real. Bob
Reply to
Bob Redfern

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