The Steel Economy in MS

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LOWNDES COUNTY, Miss. (WCBI) – Business at iron and steel companies across the region are doing well. Automakers are ordering more steel creating an up tick in business for companies like Severstal in Lowndes County.

The Steel market goes through times where it slows and then picks up. Executives at Severstal say it’s a change that affects business every 90 days or so depending on the market. With its state of the art Mini Mill the steel giant has positioned itself for success.

Severstal Executive Greg Goad says, “In certain industries the market has been great. Automotive has been very strong all year long. The projections for automotive growth through 2013 and going forward are still in the world economy. Pipe and tube has been another industry that has been growing that we’ve been benefiting from.”

With those markets growing the weaker markets like construction, appliances and H-VAC have seen declines. Being able to shift gears allows Severstal to go where the market takes them. So far the company has invested three billion dollars into equipment and facilities prepared for growth.

Goad says, “We are currently supplying companies like Ford, GM, BMW, Mercedes, Volkswagen out of Columbus.”

Currently Severstal is in the final stages with Nissan on part approval. With 85 thousand tons of Automotive business expected for next year alone the steel mill is alive and thriving. With two casters able to produce material, steel is king in Lowndes County.

According to Goad, “We’re prepped for a great future. There are others that are going to struggle. And I think if we start to as an industry start to shut down some of those facilities that just don’t really survive them the market will balance itself out.”

The biggest challenge the Steel economy and businesses like Severstal face is eliminating the smaller steel mills that are flooding the market with cheap inferior materials, driving the price and profit margin down for the industry.

Congressman Alan Nunnelee made a stop at the steel giant Thursday and toured the facility.

Categories: Local News

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