Weekly update, week ending 20/11/2020
Hello and welcome to another Friday!
Manic week here but an absolutely amazing one with our highest number of orders yet since we started trading, it is especially pleasing as we were not sure how this second lockdown would affect us but clearly even in these difficult times, people still know quality when they see it.
This has obviously meant an extremely busy week for all of us, lots of extra hours have been worked to ensure that everything is sorted quickly for our valued customers and potential customers.
Here at National Steel Buildings, we think it is vital to understand global and local industry trends, as well as history to ensure that we offer our customers the very best service and of course price, possible.
This is something I have therefore researched and will share with you this week!
In the 19th century, the UK led the global industrial revolution and was the number one manufacturer of steel and iron as well as being heavily involved in coal mining, steam power, machinery production, ship building and much more. The UK steel industry was thriving and hugely dominant in the world market for the first half of the century; making a name for British Steel and our industry as a whole.
Unfortunately, the rest of the world caught up and outperformed by the latter part of the century, and with government intervention, the UK steel industry saw a sharp and sudden decline as we edged closer to the 20th century.
Before 1860, steel production was expensive and primarily used for the manufacturing of swords and tools. Larger, more commonly used items were frequently made from iron.
Sheffield was at the centre of the UK steel industry and is often referred to as Steel City; steel was, and still is, a huge part of the city’s identity.
By the turn of the century, the U.S. had taken over as global leaders in steel production and government cuts led to the UK steel industry waning, with British Steel being privatised and jobs being cut all over the place.
That being said, the industry remained afloat. As the government invested in infrastructure and transport, long-term plans were put in place which created a huge demand for steel. At this point, there were some 800 million tonnes produced globally per year.
When the global recession hit in 2008, the steel industry had been experiencing a peak. The recession led to many cutbacks and cuts on spending, demand for steel fell and prices dropped by up to 40% almost overnight, a shocking blow to the UK steel industry!
While production in the UK industry has gradually recovered, progress has been slow and has suffered many setbacks. Currently, China produces more than half of the world’s steel and is able to undercut Western producers – thanks to cheap labour.
Today, the UK steel industries, as well as other Western producers are known as the sunset industry – on the decline, compared to developing countries like Brazil and India, who are new to the market and colloquially known as the sunrise producers.
As the global economy slowly rebuilds itself and businesses in the industry fall along the way, the UK Steel Industry will go down in the history books as a pioneer of the industrial revolution, despite recent and dramatic setbacks.
Have a great weekend.
Kellie – National Steel Buildings Ltd 😊