What is a 'Steel Industry ETF'

The steel industry ETF is an exchange-traded fund that invests primarily in the manufacture of steel and related steel industry products.

BREAKING DOWN 'Steel Industry ETF'

The steel industry ETF group contains manufacturers of all steel related products, including mining and production. Steel was once big business in the United States, but these days there are fewer steel mills. Some of these exchange-traded funds have a global reach. China and Russia also produce large amounts of steel.

Some of the products these funds refer to include steel mines, production of some steel-based goods and recycling industry related materials. The investment possibilities for these exchange-traded funds go beyond the physical products that are produced, and can include the work of the companies that hold the leases on the land and distributors as well.

In a bull market, steel stocks rank higher as they are tied to development and production in the economy. That is not to say that they are infallible; many steel towns saw a large economic downturn after the Industrial Revolution. When Bethlehem Steel went bankrupt, many in the town of Bethlehem and the surrounding area found themselves unable to find work in an industry that was experiencing a sharp decline.

The History of Bethlehem Steel

Approximately two hours outside of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania lies a small town named Bethlehem. It was once the home of Bethlehem Steel, one of the largest steel producers in the United States. The town originally produced iron for the railroads. Most of the railroads on the east coast are forged with Bethlehem iron. Then, in later years, production switched gears and began producing steel. By 1868, the steel business was booming.

Bethlehem prospered during this time. Between the iron and steel production, they were building railroads and warships for most of the United States. After the Industrial Revolution, the U.S. economy switched focus, and industrial manufacturing began to experience a downturn. Without being able to change with the times, Bethlehem Steel began to lose profitability. They eventually filed for bankruptcy in 2001. The company was dissolved, and any remaining assets were sold to International Steel Group.

Today, the Steel Stacks enjoy a second life. They are home to Bethlehem’s annual summer music festival, Musikfest. When they are not hosting musical acts, the former steel mill shows movies in the theatre and comedy shows in the auditorium. During Christmas, the town transitions into Christmas City and holds one of the countries largest holiday markets, known as Christkindlmarkt.

The town’s use of the defunct steel mill has served as inspiration for other towns that have suffered the same fate as it now attracts a large tourist population.

  1. Guy Dollé

    The former chairman and CEO of steel company Arcelor from 20 ...
  2. Akio Mimura

    Akio Mimura served as chairman and president of Nippon Steel ...
  3. Section 232 of the Trade Expansion ...

    Section 232 of the Trade Expansion Act of 1962, authorizes the ...
  4. Anti-Dumping Duty

    Anti-dumping duty is a protectionist tariff that a government ...
  5. Commodity Price Risk

    Commodity price risk is price uncertainty that adversely impacts ...
  6. Input-Output Analysis

    Input-output analysis refers to the study of the particular effects ...
Related Articles
  1. Investing

    Top 4 Steel Stocks for 2018

    Trump's tariffs on steel imports and the use of U.S. steel for all new pipelines and pipeline repairs positions these four steel stocks for gains.
  2. Investing

    Can U.S. Steel Stock Really Climb 50% in One Year? (X)

    United States Steel comes highly recommended for risk-tolerant investors, according to Barron's.
  3. Investing

    Trump's Wall Could Be Great News for Steel Stocks

    So Trump signed the order for the Wall. Some industries stand to gain. A lot.
  4. Investing

    Is Now The Time To Invest In Steel?

    Recent price drops present long-term opportunities, while many stable ETFs remain attractive. Learn your best options for turning cold hard steel into cold hard cash.
  5. Insights

    U.S. Raises China Steel Import Duty Sixfold (SLX)

    The U.S. said Tuesday it would raise import duties on Chinese cold-rolled steel by 522%.
  6. Insights

    Is Now the Time to Buy Steel Dynamics? (STLD)

    After 15% declines over the past three months, it certainly seems as if the risk-versus-reward profile of Steel Dynamics has drastically improved.
  7. Investing

    AK Steel Hikes Carbon Steel Product Prices (AKS, SLX)

    You know you're operating in a strong industry when you're confident enough to raise prices on some of the key products.
  8. Insights

    U.S. Steel 'Very Undervalued': Credit Suisse (X)

    The risk-versus-reward profile of United States Steel continues to be a hot topic for investors.
  9. Insights

    Trump's Steel and Aluminum Tariffs: What You Need to Know

    A look at key issues regarding the latest import tariffs on steel and aluminium announced by President Trump
  10. Investing

    Assessing AK Steel After 91% One-Month Rise (AKS)

    AK Steel shares have risen more than 90% in 30 days, fueled by the improved prospects of the steel industry under President-elect Donald Trump.
  1. Why did the U.S. government take control of the steel industry in 1952?

    In early 1950, Senator McCarthy began seeing communists in every shadow, prompting him to accuse the Truman administration ... Read Answer >>
  2. What are the most famous monopolies?

    Without free market competition, the most famous monopolies in American history effectively set the national price for steel, ... Read Answer >>
  3. What are Common Examples of Monopolistic Markets?

    Many utilities are monopolistic markets. A monopoly exists when one firm can operate at a lower marginal cost than its competitors. Read Answer >>
  4. How does the United States government measure economic growth?

    Find out how the Bureau of Labor Statistics and the Bureau of Economic Analysis measure economic growth in the United States ... Read Answer >>
Trading Center