The Physics
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Price of Steel

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Malsberger, John W. "Philip Benner." Encyclopedia of American Business History and Biography. 1989. "But Benner realized that the selling price for a ton of iron in Pittsburgh at the time was about $250, allowing him to profit margin even with the high cost of transportation. $0.25/kg
Tompkin, Al. Monday Edition: Steel Prices Soar. Poynteronline. 22 Feb. 2004 "The price of a ton of hot-rolled coil steel in the USA hit $482 this month, up 66 percent from the recent low in June, steel consulting firm Meps International said Thursday." $0.53/kg
The American Steel Industry Current Trade Issues 2003 [pdf]. Stand Up for Steel. "Prior to the implementation of Section 201 relief, prices plummeted to historic and unsustainable lows - for some products $100/ton below the cost of the most efficient steelmakers in the world. While there has been some badly-needed recovery from these lows, prices have risen only modestly and in fact have slackened significantly from their highs last summer. For example, prices for hot- rolled steel rose from historic lows of only $210/ton in December 2001 to an average of around $370/ton last summer, but have now fallen back down to $280/ton. Indeed, prices for all major flat-rolled products are now below 20-year historical averages - even on a nominal basis." $0.23/kg–$0.41/kg
Why are steel prices rising? Rediff. 30 May 2005. 30 May 2005 "The fact remains that 3.1to 3.2 tonnes of raw materials are required to produce a tonne of steel. Domestic prices of hot rolled coils are hovering at Rs28,500 per tonne, excluding freight, excise and other duties. So the rise in steel prices can be attributed to a hike in input costs, the study pointed out." $0.52/kg
High Steel Prices Bend. People's Daily. 18 June 2000. 22 May 2005. "The coastal Shanghai, China's largest economic powerhouse, prices of steel products for building materials dropped to about 2,500 yuan (US$301) per ton from nearly 3,000 yuan (US$361) per ton." $0.33/kg–$0.40/kg

Everyone knows that when you steal, you pay by going to jail; but how much does steel actually cost? The price of steel changes everyday. Back in 1812, a kilogram of steel cost $0.25, however, as of May 30, 2005 the price of steel was up to $0.52/kg. The current rising price of steel suggests that steel is "increasingly becoming a precious medal in the American economy". Miami Herald believes that the Americans will soon pay for this rising steel price in terms of higher prices for steel appliances, cars, etc. Although this is just one of the many opinions about the steel market, can you imagine paying $100 for a metal toaster?

The price of steel wasn't always one the rise. Instead the market is often very unstable. In December of 2001, the price of steel was $0.23/kg. less than 6 months later, in the summer of 2002, the prices were up to $0.41/kg. The in the spring of 2003, steel prices fell back down to $0.28/kg. In the year 2000, the price of steel products in China's largest economic powerhouse dropped from $0.40/kg to $0.33/kg.

As of late, the prices of steel have been on the rise. The reason for this is that today, it takes anywhere from 3100 to 3200 kilograms of raw materials to make 1000 kilograms of steel. Hence, the price of steel in part depends on the raw materials from which it is made.

There is no accepted price on steel. The market is always changing. In fact, the odds are, by the time you read this page the price of steel will be totally different.

Alexander Gizersky -- 2005