Rising raw materials costs have compelled domestic steelmakers to increase prices to protect their margins, while sterling’s post-Brexit decline has also helped to increase steel prices.
The UK’s referendum decision in June to leave the EU will define its political and economic destiny for years to come, and many questions remain to be resolved concerning the future of UK-EU relations.
But while the answers to these political puzzles remain some way in the future, factors such as the cost of raw materials and the values of currencies look likely to define the UK steel industry in 2017.
The most significant immediate consequence of the vote to leave the EU on June 23
– known as “Brexit” – was a considerable depreciation in the value of sterling against the US dollar and other major currencies.
The official exchange rate was £1 to $1.2282 on December 27. This had...