April 5, 2024

Industry Insider Column

Guest Author – Cameron Russo, Managing Director, CT Steel Supplies 

Competition Re-ignites Push For Quality

A few months ago I made some comments which are worth repeating. Within the steel industry, the last five years have been an absolute whirlwind. We´ve had a global pandemic with twists and turns at every corner, natural disasters, unexpected wars and a massive shift in the global economy. These factors have had a major impact on the global steel industry; and we are starting to see the changes. Throughout 2019-21, the demand for steel was ‘red hot’, with neither international nor domestic mills able to keep up with the requirements. With this, the customer had to make a choice: to either sacrifice quality to get their hands on any steel they could find, or to simply go 


without (which often wasn’t an option). In the past 12 months, we have seen a gradual shift back to normal, pre-pandemic times. Mills have shortened lead times, feed material is far more accessible and distributors have better availability when it comes to floor stock.

A market recalibration is underway. Consumers are putting far more emphasis on material quality because demand and supply has balanced out. Previously, international and domestic mills were running as fast as they could, and navigating shipping challenges resulted in ‘bad loads’ hitting the Australian market. Now that an equilibrium is on the horizon, the mills and distributors who place quality at the forefront of business operations are flourishing. They recognise that the consumer has far more choice and therefore power when it comes to purchasing. This is the leading driver in raising quality standards.

I wholeheartedly welcome this movement in the steel industry. It allows high quality steel to run through the market: and once customers have purchased high quality steel, they want to come back for more. The pandemic years were without doubt strong for the steel industry, but 2023 has been a functional year. The steel industry has been able to rejuvenate to set up for a stronger 2024. I look forward to seeing what the next year brings for the steel industry.

  • This article is a repeat of the January 2024 Industry Insider column.

Got Something To Say?  If you would like to be the guest author of an Industry Insider column you are very welcome. The choice of topic is yours. You might like to have a rant against some overbearing bureaucracy, or maybe you think further regulation is needed in a particular sector? Perhaps you want to complain about some unfairness which exists in the industry. There is no cost involved in being the guest author. Simply contact the publisher, Mark Maccallum, via his email: [email protected]

Disclaimer. The Industry Insider column is an opinion piece where the views expressed belong solely and entirely to the indicated author, in this case: Cameron Russo, Managing Director at CT Steel Supplies. Australian Steel News accepts no responsibility whatsoever for the veracity of the author´s opinions nor for the accuracy of any information given by him.

If you would like to contact Cameron Russo, you can do so via his email: [email protected]