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Tube & Pipe
Friday | 26 June, 2009 | 6:31 am

A positive outlook

By Modern Metals' staff

June 2009 - As part of its spring meeting, the Steel Tube Institute of North America discussed the overall difficult conditions in the marketplace. Members reported that for the first four months of 2009, sales were off between 40 and 70 percent compared with the same period in 2008.

However, most new members reported that they were anticipating some improvement in their markets in the third quarter of 2009. Members also reported that they were seeing signs of a bottom to the current cycle and they even reported that this may be indicative of the early stages of a recovery.

Comments included:
"It appears that customers have completed their destocking of products."

"There appears to be some stabilizing in the automotive market and inventory is coming into balance."

"Inventory in the service center industry, and with many OEMs, is low."

"There is going to be a strong demand for water pipe needed to replace aging systems in major cities throughout the United States."

"Customer inquiries are beginning to pick up in both tubing, pipe and steel."

"For the first time in several months, customers are not just buying 'what they are selling' but are buying to add a little to their inventories."

One concern among the group was that the government stimulus program is probably going to take longer than anticipated to play a significant role in the economic recoveryÑat least another six to nine months before it will be felt in the markets in which it will provide an impact. MM

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