More Bad News: Steel Prices Nearly Double
This year's trend towards– let's face it folks– inflation continues. Just as our bodies are 75 percent water, the average modern car contains 2400 lbs. of steel; the average SUV is comprised of 3000 lbs. of the stuff. In late 2007, steel was selling for $535 a ton. Today? How's $1,035 per ton grab you? It's grabbing steel execs you know where. No, there. According to Automotive News, tensions are rising as steel makers tear up contracts. They're demanding more money from automakers, who are of course resisting. Regardless, ArcelorMittal, the world's largest steel maker, is about to impose a $250 per ton surcharge. That's about 20 to 40 percent over what current contracts stipulate. Long story short, look for the price of your next car to be about $500 higher. Also, this might be a great time to invest in carbon fiber futures.
If the falling dollar means importing steel costs more US dollars, then does this mean that the US iron ore industry and US steel industry is going to make a comeback? Will the steel mills of the Great Lakes make a comeback? Will the iron ore mines of northern Minnesota come back? Or does it costs of a lot of expensive imported energy to mine and make, thus negating the home field advantage of a weak dollar? Australia exports lots of iron ore to China. China needs energy to import that ore and make steel with it. So we have to compete with China to buy energy, they to turn their Aussie ore to steel, and us to turn our Minnesota ore to steel.
China has lots of coal and so do we, so energy is not an issue. They do not have an EPA nor OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health), though. So if they need a new foundry, they just raze a village and start building. Here, it takes a couple of years to just do an environmental impact report.
Here's something real interesting: http://www.scaled.com/projects/gmcar.html