First Research US Industry Profile

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Primary Metals Manufacturing
SIC Codes: 2819, 3312, 3316, 3331, 3334, 3339
NAICS Codes: 331
Last Quarterly Update: 5/9/2022
Companies in this industry engage in smelting and refining of ferrous and nonferrous metals and include iron and steel mills, rolled steel shape manufacturers, aluminum producers, and copper foundries. Major companies include Alcoa, Nucor, and US Steel (all based in the US); along with ArcelorMittal (Luxembourg); Baowu, CHALCO, and Jiangxi Copper (China); JFE Steel Corporation and Nippon Steel (Japan); POSCO (South Korea); Rio Tinto (Canada); Rusal (Russia); Tata Steel (India); and ThyssenKrupp (Germany).
According to Wordsteel, China leads all nations in crude steel and aluminum production by a wide margin. Other top steel producers include Japan, the US, India, Russia, and South Korea. Other major aluminum suppliers include Canada, Russia, and India.
The US primary metals manufacturing industry includes about 3,900 establishments (single-location companies and units of multi-location companies) companies with combined annual sales of about $222 billion.
Competitive Landscape
Demand comes largely from manufacturers of durable goods such as motor vehicles, machinery, containers, and construction steel. The profitability of individual companies depends largely on efficient operations, because most products are commodities sold based on price. Large companies enjoy economies of scale in purchasing and production. Accordingly, most producers of secondary products buy raw metal from the large producers. Small companies can compete by serving regional markets or producing specialty products. The US industry is concentrated: the 50 largest companies generate more than 60% of revenue.
Imports make up about 230% of the US market for primary metals. China, Mexico, Canada, Japan, and Germany are top suppliers. Exports mainly to Mexico, Canada, the UK, and Switzerland account for about 700% of US production.
Products, Operations & Technology
Major sources of revenue for the industry include hot rolled carbon steel products, which accounts for about 30% of industry revenue. Major products also ... plus:
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