In Business This Week
A BIG DENT IN NEW STEEL MILLS?
NUCOR'S MAR. 20 PRICE CUT could signal far more than the end of steel's two-year-old bull market: It may undercut financing for several new mills planned for later this decade. Following word of Nucor's intentions to reduce flat-rolled steel prices 5%, steel stocks hit 12-month lows. That won't help Pittsburgh startup WorldClass Steel, which plans to build the first new mill in the area since World War II. It already has missed its self-imposed St. Patrick's Day deadline for raising $440 million, and steel sources say a chief lender, Mellon Bank, won't advance $235 million unless WorldClass finds a big partner. Another Pennsylvania startup, BRW, still seeks a cheap caster. The silver lining: Fewer new mills means lower capacity--and less glut.EDITED BY KEITH H. HAMMONDS