March 2013 - During the fourth quarter, the domestic metals market experienced a slight relapse in recovery. Analysts noted M&A market transaction volume remained strong as transaction values increased. Steel prices decreased overall on lower volumes as continued global macroeconomic concerns and tight pricing drove uncertainty for steel producers. Domestic steel producers’ utilization rate decreased to an average of 71.7 percent. Domestic crude steel production decreased to 23.3 million tons, a decline of 3.9 percent from 24.2 million tons during the same period last year. The fourth quarter displayed strong volume in metals industry M&A activity, on par with the third quarter. Many companies opted to close transactions before full implementation of new tax laws. Long-term fundamentals continue to depict some systematic oversupply, but a strong economic recovery could eliminate this excess capacity quickly.
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