For steelmakers, a new global market has meant steady and sometimes record profits in an industry many had written off. For companies that buy steel for everything from auto parts to appliances, it’s meant pain.
Steel consumers, from the automakers of Detroit to the home builders of Honolulu, are finding themselves on the very expensive other side of global consolidation: There are fewer steelmakers at a time when China and other developing nations are snatching up both the steel and the raw materials needed to make it.
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