What's the impact of the automotive strikes on US steel industry?

2023-09-21 17:05PM UTC

The monthly crude metals index MMI is trading sideways this month after a 2.83% drop in August, with steel prices falling all across the board.


Steel prices tumbled 10.3% this month, plumbing January 2023 lows and heading towards $600 a tonne. 


Recently, automotive workers launched strikes against Ford, GM, Stellantis after the collapse of wage negotiations.


The strikes started with 13 thousand workers and could very well last a long time, potentially three months, in turn leading to a loss of 400 thousand tonnes of steel demand, alongside a drop of 550 thousand cars a month of lost production.


The first company that took heavy losses is US Steel company with its B steel furnaces idled due to weaker demand. 



In several major US Steel furnaces, it's estimated the capacity has fallen to 75% or so, and is expected to collapse across the board as the strikes carry on.


Historic Labor Strikes 


The UAW union has launched a strike for the first time ever against all three major automotive companies, following a single extended strike against GM for about a month in October in 50 factories, which similarly hurt steel prices considerably. 


The length and width of such automotive strikes have a history of negative impact on many industries ans chief of which the steel industry, however a quick resolution of the strikes is expected to easily boost steel prices and production once more. 


However, the current situation does look bleaker than usual, and could easily extend for six weeks or more, in turn dragging steel prices and production heavily down, not just in the US but worldwide. 

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