PMA Survey: Steel Availability and Pricing Challenging Metal Formers, as Business Conditions Improve

April 26, 2021

PMA-Business-Conditions-metal-formingMetal forming companies remain optimistic for improved business conditions during the next three months, according to the April 2021 Precision Metalforming Association (PMA) Business Conditions Report, but continue to report longer lead times for steel and other materials. Prepared monthly, the PMA report provides an economic indicator for manufacturing, sampling metal forming companies in the United States and Canada.

More than half (56 percent) of companies surveyed forecast an improvement in economic activity in the next three months (up from 50 percent in March) and only 7 percent anticipate a decline in activity (down from 9 percent in March).

When asked about lead times for steel and other materials, 64 percent of respondents say that they have increased, up from 60 percent in March. Increases have continued each month since September 2020, when only 16 percent reported increased lead times.

“Metal forming manufacturers continue to report improved business conditions, but also are experiencing growing challenges in finding steel and other raw materials needed to meet growing demand,” says PMA President David Klotz. “Our members report increased lead times for steel, aluminum, copper, brass and other metals. Steel prices are at near record highs, making it difficult for U.S. manufacturers to compete. Some of our members report paying 40-percent more for steel than their overseas competitors. PMA continues to call on the Biden Administration to terminate the Section 232 steel and aluminum tariffs, which no longer are needed and are one of the main causes for chaos in the market.”  

Industry-Related Terms: Brass, Forming
View Glossary of Metalforming Terms


See also: Precision Metalforming Association

Technologies: Management


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