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Steel Prices: How we got here and what could happen

  • Thread starter Ox
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Aug 17, 2007
North Fork Idaho
About 5 years ago Wonder Woman and I were on I-5 just north of Bakersfield Ca when we caught up to a train hauling rail, I estemate each rail at 1/4 mile long. They were in stacked with rr ties between the layers of rails with blocks between around 1 foot, 6 layers high. We followed for a bit amazed to see the load snaking around gental curves yet not walking of the rail rars, I forget how many cars the rails bridged but it was pretty cool to see. I thought it must have been something made for Gov Browns bullet train.

Quote Originally Posted by Ox View Post
And then you have no buying power with anyone either.

I have some special 6061 extrusions for one customer, I buy the material 2000 lbs at a time and have the supplier put it on a seperate bill from the rest of my order which I pass on th the customer the day we get it then we bill them for the machining as we deliver the parts. It helps out with "buying power" as we get a bit better deal on the rest of the material we need for our projects. The special extrusion lasts us about 6 months, there are 2 of them and we have the orders alternated so we buy aluminum about every 3 months if we keep track of it, the customer owned material helps us save about 50 cents a pound on ours, normally another 1000 to 3000 lbs


Mar 15, 2004
Edison Washington USA
Steel Dynamics makes 320 foot long sections of rail in the USA, at their Columbia City Indiana plant. and then will weld them together, up to 1600 feet long. I think they are the main mill making rail in the US, but I am not sure.
Apr 14, 2018
Airstrip One, Oceania
Here is a chinese rail facility, welding big lengths.
Pretty funny to me .... if you look at videos of the actual track setting, US and Europe have these interesting things which resemble excavators with one guy driving that pick up the rail and set it (really shows how flexible rail is). China, they have huge prestressed sections of bridge with all the hotsy-totsy no-ballast ties and anchors in place, then 100 guys with long crowbars set the rail. Keep people busy ! :)


Sep 6, 2008
Materials that you buy today, are sold at today's replacement costs, just like gasoline.


Think Snow Eh!

Not according to owners of two steel service centers locally. Just like everyone else, they make the occasional stupid decision and have to eat a loss. More likely when input prices are high and delivery is later…..

Noted price of steel on CNY/T graph went up 10% just today! Why?