U.S. steel tariffs had a significant impact on businesses around the globe in 2018. But what impact are tariffs having on the market in 2019?

When the U.S. administration imposed a 25 percent tariff on steel in early 2018 via Section 232, it had an impact on the market. For instance, the U.S. experienced a rise in the pricing of HRC (hot roll coil). Throughout much of 2018, on a non-tariff adjusted basis, U.S. steel prices traded at a wider premium relative to European and Chinese steel prices.

Understanding that tariffs had a significant impact on business conditions in 2018, Ryerson asked customers to tell us what impact, if any, they thought tariffs would have on business in 2019. With seemingly no clear picture as to how long current tariffs will stay in place, respondents remain unclear about the overall impact. 

More than half of the respondents (55 percent) said they do anticipate tariffs having a direct impact on business going forward. In fact, this was cited as the second biggest challenge (48 percent) that respondents see facing their business overall in the year ahead. An additional 30 percent of respondents were unsure whether steel tariffs would have an impact on their business in 2019, leaving only 15 percent saying that they do not anticipate an impact.

Steel tariffs

Want to know more? Download your copy of The Metal Perspective, Ryerson's customer survey report. See where you stand compared to others in the market when it comes to business conditions and market expectations. 


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