It just goes to show that you can't predict the markets. Despite
for the steel exchange traded fund (
) to plunge, it's done exactly the opposite.
Steel prices have started to climb on demand for it in
everything from ships to tin cans, appliances and oil pipelines.
Robert Guy Matthews for
The Wall Street Journal
depending on the type of steel and its location, prices have jumped
between 1% and 12%. In the last month,
have gained between 4% and 6%. [
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As is so often the case, China is a huge culprit. The country
slashed steel demand to meet the government's year-end
energy-savings target. Before year end, China's steel mills will
cut production by 3% to 5%. [
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Demand in cars may keep prices elevated. Although aluminum is a
major auto component, steel is still the dominant one, thanks to
lower prices and less volatility,
says Pratima Desai for Reuters
. The development of lighter and stronger steel has put it back in
favor for use in these fuel-efficient times.
There are two ETFs to play the steel industry directly,
according to the
. Both of the funds below hold the stock of companies involved in
steel production; there's currently no physically-backed or
futures-based steel ETF.
Market Vectors Steel ETF (NYSEArca: SLX):
The United States is the sole country in this fund.
PowerShares Global Steel (NYSEArca: PSTL):
Top countries are Japan, the United States, Brazil and South
Tisha Guerrero contributed to this article.