Steel users facing heavy prices, short supplies: “Many domestic steel users are being pinched by rising prices, which are being attributed to a weak dollar, high consumption in China and inflated prices for raw materials.

Prices were at 20-year lows just a few years ago, which steelmakers blamed on a worldwide glut of capacity.

Industry players say the weak dollar has inflated the price of imported steel, discouraging foreign steelmakers from shipping products to the United States. Prices of imported steel were further inflated by ocean freight rates that have doubled or tripled over the last year.

Prices for raw materials have gone up as well. With more than half of U.S.-produced steel made from melting junked cars, refrigerators and other steel products, prices for some high-grade scrap are approaching $300 a ton, compared to less than $200 a few years ago.”

But I love this next bit best …

“China is basically screwing up the world market for steel prices right now,” said Don Lawrence, purchasing agent for George L. Wilson & Co., a Pittsburgh building materials distributor.

So first it was all China’s fault, because they were dumping their cheap steel on us. Now they’re using their own steel and ours and it’s still their fault.

John Anton of consultant Global Insight says the 200-million ton glut that industry leaders were gripping about a few years ago has disappeared because of worldwide demand, mill shutdowns in the U.S. and raw materials shortages.

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