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Record-high steel prices most likely will begin to decline because the economy of China, which uses 30% of the global steel output, is beginning to cool down, the Wall Street Journal reported on Friday (June 4).
Lower steel prices would be good news for the Lippert Components Inc., a subsidiary of Drew Industries Inc., a leading supplier of frames for towable RVs, and for RV manufacturers.
Steel prices increased over 100% during the past six months, as have some other important materials used for building RVs. As a result, several manufacturers have had to raise their wholesale prices. However, the price increases have been small so far, in the 3% range, and apparently have not caused sticker shock in the retail market, according to various industry sources.
As demand for steel in China cools down, both foreign and domestic steel makers will direct more of their production toward the U.S. market, which would allow steel prices in the U.S. to decline, the Journal reported.
Jason Lippert, president and CEO of Lippert Components, said earlier he was anticipating steel price declines only in the 2% to 5% range.