Record steel prices inject life into long-suffering industry

Prices of steel have boomed worldwide this year, smashing record after record

There’s rarely been a better time to be in the steel business. Prices have boomed worldwide this year, smashing record after record. Roaring industrial demand is propelling those rallies, with plants straining to boost supply after lying dormant during the pandemic. On top of that, powerhouses China and Russia are trying to limit exports to help other industries at home.

“If you’d asked me six months ago what was my most positive vision for the first half of 2021, I don’t think I would’ve even come close to the reality,” Carlo Beltrame, who manages Romania and France for AFV Beltrame, said in a phone interview. The closely-held company plans to build a 250 million-euro ($295 million) mill in Romania with the capacity to produce about 600,000 tons a year.

That optimism is a far cry from the past decade, when Western makers closed plants and shed workers as low demand…

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