Steel prices to rise in Katrina’s wake

Just when you thought you’d heard all the good news coming out of the New Orleans area, we get this little tidbit.

The price of steel used to make cars and industrial equipment is expected to rise as much as 40% in coming months, or up to $80 a ton, partly because of Hurricane Katrina damage in the New Orleans area, according to a media report Wednesday.

Flooding has limited the supply and distribution of liquid hydrogen and scrap steel, The Wall Street Journal reported in its online edition. Scrap is used to make basic steel; liquid hydrogen is used to make higher-quality products such as galvanized and cold-rolled steel. Concrete reinforcing bar, or rebar, also is expected to rise.

The flooding-created price increase, estimated at 20%, comes atop previously announced 20% price increases by steelmakers

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