AK Steel Holding Corp., a maker of carbon, stainless, and electrical steels, said Tuesday it will raise its prices for aluminum coatings by 50 percent due to high aluminum costs.
AK Steel said the price hikes take effect April 1 and will be added to the company’s current pricing extras for all aluminized carbon and stainless steel products.
Here are some cute update-themselves graphs of aluminum pricing:
Unfortunately, it won’t produce cute charts of longer terms, but you can see them by clicking this link.
As you can see from the longer term graphs (follow the link above), aluminum prices have doubled since 2002. This trend, repeated in copper, steel and nickel prices, shows that we can no longer take for granted the plentiful and cheap availability of these metals. The underlying factors in all cases is a wide-scale (delayed) industrial revolution in large areas of what we once called the third world. This has the ability to outstrip mining efforts for these metals and, at least in the short term and perhaps for a good long time to come, will drive up demand and therefore prices.
Now the good news, at least for aluminum, is that recycling is relatively cheap, aluminum is a low-melting point element, but even still, the scrap is worth a small fraction of the original price. Better not to make scrap at all.
In this way, certain less-wasteful processes, like slide forming, will likely become more prominent in the next few years, as the true costs of waste metal becomes increasingly obvious.