Fortunes of the Steel Industry

December 27, 1962

Report Outline
Brightening Outlook for Steel Industry
Rising Competition at Home and Abroad
Controversy Over Prices, Costs and Profits
The Industry and the Steelworkers
Special Focus

Brightening Outlook for Steel Industry

Year-End Stimulus of Booming Automobile Sales

The american steel industry, long plagued by soaring costs, declining profits and intensive competition at home and abroad, looks forward to better times in 1963. Steel production in December, normally a slack month, is expected almost to equal that of November. By next spring, production may reach an annual rate of 110 million ingot tons, or about 70 per cent of steel making capacity.

Unexpectedly heavy demand for new automobiles and consequent depletion of stockpiled steel are the principal factors behind the recent upsurge in steel activity. New car output last month aggregated 687,390 units, the highest November total in seven years. Current schedules indicate that production in 1962 will be the highest of any year since 1955—an estimated 6.9 million cars. As a result, the steel companies are revising their 1963 production forecasts; executives who two months ago were predicting a total output of 95 million ingot tons of steel next year now believe that production will approach the 100 million ton mark.

Despite these encouraging signs, the steel industry still is operating at little more than 60 per cent of its estimated annual capacity of 160 million tons. The 1958 recession, followed within a year by a 116-day steel strike, dealt the industry a crippling blow from which it has not yet recovered. Steel production exceeded 80 per cent of capacity in all except two of the years from 1940 through 1957. In 1958 the production rate fell to 60.6 per cent, and it has not since climbed above 67 per cent.

ISSUE TRACKER for Related Reports
Steel Industry
Mar. 05, 1982  Rebuilding the Nation's Steel Industry
Jul. 07, 1971  Steel Settlement
Jan. 06, 1965  Steel Wages and Prices
Dec. 27, 1962  Fortunes of the Steel Industry
Oct. 24, 1947  Steel Capacity
Sep. 02, 1944  Revision of the Little Steel Formula
Jul. 18, 1938  The Price of Steel
Aug. 19, 1933  The Steel Industry and Recovery
May 01, 1930  The Iron and Steel Industry
Manufacturing and Industrial Production