Ross Simons | 05.03.23

The cost of Steel and the impact on the UK’s Skip Manufacturing

In the first half of the 19th Century Britain was the World’s leader in steel production, producing over 18 million tonnes of steel annually and employing over 37,000 workers. Last year, in 2016 we were constantly reading reports about the industry sadly entitled “Britain’s steel industry – what went wrong” and “The rise and fall of Britain’s steel industry” – it’s pretty clear to see that not only was 2016 not a great year for Steel production, but things have certainly changed since the early 19th Century.

Since the turn of the millennium we have seen a 96% increase in Steel production across the World, the majority of this increase has been from China where they are able to produce steel very cheaply. This has obviously had an impact on the UK’s steel industry, making it difficult to compete with the cheap imports, however it has also been reported that the Chinese manufacturers are even providing steel at below cost.

The UK government claim to be doing all they can to help the steel industry, to assist in creating a secure long-term viable future, however with EU rules not allowing state support of businesses if they are deemed to support or distort competition in a single market, can the government really assist the industry? Will Brexit be beneficial to the UK Steel Industry we will wait to see.

In 2017, the National Association of Steel Service Centres (NASS) has stated that steel prices in the UK are expected to keep rising based on prices for raw materials and oil costs increasing. Their exact quote read “In the second half of 2016 the escalation of raw material prices, particularly on coking coal, iron ore and scrap, has resulted in steel producers seeking to retain acceptable margins by announcing significant price increases to retain acceptable margins by announcing significant price increase to maintain pace with rising input costs of £150 plus per tonne. This situation is not expected to change in the short term, with further significant price increase planned for Q1 2017 and with prices for Q2 onwards currently “ON HOLD.”

The UK is well known for producing high quality skip manufacturing and this is the same case for the Steel Industry. In China the manufacturers of steel receive tax rebates for exporting “alloy” and for them to do so they increase the levels of boron and chromium, but the issue with importing this grade of steel into Europe is that it does not comply to the European standard for structural steel. The risk for Skip manufacturers using this cheap steel means that these alloy additions can significantly affect the steel when it’s been welded, causing the steel to crack.

Samson Containers manufacture the best quality skips, premium roll on / roll off containers (RORO’s) and rear and front end loaders. We use British Steel, not because of patriotism but because of the quality of the steel and so that our clients can be assured of purchasing the best quality products available in the UK. Our UK manufacturing plant of the Skips is based near Blackpool in Lancashire and we are able to distribute our products to all parts of the UK and beyond. Buy quality British Skips, buy through Samson Containers.