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Steel Prices Skyrocket

By: Renee Charles Email
By: Renee Charles Email

Almost daily, we are talking about the price of something going up. Most recently, it's been gas and groceries, but that's not all.

Steel prices are skyrocketing too. You might not think it affects you the average consumer, but it certainly does.

Globally, the price of steel is more than 40% more than it was in December and prices have not yet hit their peak. Rob Mudd, CEO of Denham Blythe Engineering and Construction Firm, says, "It's gone up in the last two years $257 per ton. So it's a significant increase."

There are several reasons for the increase, including fuel prices, which result in higher transport prices. Also, the cost of iron ore is up and world supply and demand also impacts the price.

Mudd says, "We are no longer an island within ourselves, we are now part of the world economy and you have a lot of growth around the world and that can affect the cost here for us."

When you talk about steel, many people think more in the context of large construction projects, but steel is everywhere and you may be surprised at how the rising cost can affect you at home.

"We build buildings for a purpose and as the cost of the building rises so does the cost of consumers product," Mudd said.

Break down the cost this way: say your home costs $100,000 and $5000 of the material is steel. If the cost of steel is up 20%, the price of your house just went up $1000.

Besides the actual structure of your home, there are dozens of products inside made with some steel. Those include the washer and dryer, the refrigerator and the railing around your deck or patio. The main component in all of those is steel.

"You're going see a lot of the cost in appliances you purchase," says Mudd.

The number of steel mills in the U.S. is dwindling. We import nearly 10% of steel from overseas today.

According to the Wall Street Journal, rising steel prices is a world wide problem. In Turkey a 15 day strike in eight cities is on the horizon to press steelmakers to cut their prices.


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