New York — The slump in steel ordering may have bottomed out, according to Iron Age magazine. The worst of the downturn in steel in years may have occurred in late June of early July. Orders since then have steadily though modestly increased.
Steel production in early July hit a low of about 51.7 percent of capacity. Present rates may be closer to 80 percent, which is the break-even point in general for the domestic industry.
Now some steelworkers are being recalled, although at present it is a trickle. The increased order activity continues to be in automotive, energy, chemical, and machine tool industries. Appliances, housing, and farm equipment remain less than peppy.