Following a 45% decline in the global steel market, one of the world’s largest steel producers is putting the brakes on production. Luxembourg-based Arcelor Mittal, which is a major producer of reinforcing bar, among other construction materials, has virtually shuttered its Cleveland plant. Arcelor Mittal says it does not know when steel-making operations would resume. In related news, U.S. Steel announce on May 19 it is closing most of its steelmaking operations at its plant near Birmingham, Ala., which will affect 1,300 of 1,700 workers.
The market is generally healthy and steadily growing, and margins are up for large specialty contractors. Further, advances in design tools and owner demand for collaboration are giving subcontractors a seat at the table early on in projects.