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Liberty Steel crisis – where are we now?

By 22nd July 2021March 2nd, 2022High Peak Steels News
An illustration showing steel foundries across a world map

Back in May we shared with you the fallout effects from Liberty Steels stoppage. At that time, we shared with you a 10 STAGE action plan High Peak Steels put in place on how we can work with you, through this challenging time, to ensure your continued supply of black and bright bar.

So how is steel supply looking today?

For those customers who have forward ordered from High Peak Steels it has been a good move, as this has meant you can be first reserve for stock, once it is in the UK. A customer commented, “we’re glad you gave us the option to forward order, this has enabled us to plan our order book, based on when we know the steel is available, whilst in uncertain times.”

What you can do...

When you have your drawings, call us on 01457 866 911 or use our online steel ordering system to forward order your stock requirements, allowing us to help you secure your stock in advance wherever we can.

Supply chain issues

There are still steel supply chain issues both with stock in the UK, import quotas, shipping, and UK transportations. There are certainly gaps in steel stock grades and supplier issues.

Recurring steel orders

Where you have recurring steel orders, forecast ahead to help us manage your requirements. You can advise us on your anticipated needs for the foreseeable future, which will help us to plan your steel stock supply the best we can.

6 month steel stock supply projections

There is a limit on European steel stock quotas and this is creating limited steel supply into the UK. Some is in bonded storage, however High Peak Steels have forward ordered stock which is now available.

High Peak Steels have more stock on order, which we anticipate being available before the quota ceiling is full.  Furthermore we have bonded storage available, as a result of extending our global supply chain. Due to political limits, we have lobbied Government to change these restrictive steel quotas.

This is how the forward order system we have introduced has benefited our customers who have forward ordered.

We will soon be out of the transitional period to a structured system for European steel imports. From January 1, there are new HMRC restrictions on imports, we will have to wait and see the effects on import for many.

Steel stock supply sitting on a dock

Global steel supply chain findings

The business landscape is changing like never before and the pressure on us all to adapt our business model has never been so needed, so High Peak Steels have worked to adapt and grow our supply chain, as well as our own forward purchasing model – so planning ahead. We have done this to have as little impact on customers as possible.

We continue to broaden our stock supply chain globally, to satisfy i.) the upturn in demand, ii.) and the limit placed on the UK, by European quotas. To accelerate our response to this demand High Peak Steels have commission and paid for an extensive supply chain global research report, this was conducted by external consultants DNA Consulting, at our expense to ensure we are giving best value for money for our customers and to increase the materials supply capability.

The report concluded:

  1. If steel prices are fair – the report concluded that despite the increased prices these were normal across the world. With increased shipping costs many potential new suppliers who are further around the Globe, would only result in higher prices by the time the stock was docked in the UK. Consequently the report showed that there were not price advantages from trading elsewhere; in fact these would be higher.
  2. If there were other countries to import more steel stock from – the report concluded there were alternatives, however the price point was on average + 25%, not something High Peak Steels believe would be acceptable to customers. We continue exploring import agreements from these other mills. At a point when the price alignment, either because the mill material / exchange rates improve, or more likely prices increase for stock, making these new mills more competitive.

Steel stockholders challenge government

Steel Stockholders rally together to challenge safeguard measures the UK Government quotas from the EU.

We reviewed 19 product categories, which contained 253 different product codes in total. The total number of product codes in our intended preliminary decision reduced by 16 codes to 237 as a result of a scope change which combined two categories. We intend to recommend that the measure is revoked on 135 product codes, and extended on 102 product codes. Read the statement made by Elizabeth Truss, Secretary of State for International Trade.