|Last Quarterly Update:||9/23/2013|
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Companies in the industry distribute steel and other primary metals and metal products and may also provide sawing, shearing, bending, leveling, cleaning, or edging services. Major companies include Reliance Steel & Aluminum, Ryerson, and Schnitzer Steel Industries (all based in the US), along with China Minmetals (China), Salzgitter (Germany), and Sojitz (Japan).
The US metals distribution industry includes about 8,000 companies with combined annual revenue of about $200 billion. Key potential growth drivers include an increase in customers' outsourcing of supply chain functions and development of new, specialized steel products.
The industry includes metals service centers and companies that distribute metals other than steel, but not companies that distribute precious metals or metal ores.
The health of the manufacturing and construction industries drives demand for steel. A distributor’s sales volume determines profitability because many costs are fixed. Large distributors benefit from economies of scale in purchasing, processing, and distribution. Small companies can compete by specializing in particular products or offering special processing services.
The US industry is concentrated: the 50 largest companies generate about 50 percent of revenue.
PRODUCTS, OPERATIONS & TECHNOLOGY
Steel products are made from carbon or alloy, stainless, or specialty steels, and come in the form of sheets, plates, bars, rods, tubes, and structural items like rails and I-beams. In addition to selling steel mill products, distributors sell various processing services that customize products for particular customers. Because of the large number ...
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