Tool steel distributors concerned about Latrobe acquisition

Tool steel distributors throughout the United States are voicing their concerns about the acquistion of Latrobe Specialty Metals by Carpenter Technology Corporation. The $558 million purchase is set to be completed by the end of September 2011.

The concern stems from Cartpenter's focus on expanding its aeroapce and power generation capabilities, while no mention of tool steel production or distribution has been made.

Latrobe, Pa.-based Latrobe Specialty Metals distributes Crucible Particle Metallurgy (CPM) rounds and flats manufactured by Crucible Industries LLC, Solvay, N.Y., according to the company’s Web site, and also manufactures conventional and high-speed tool steels.

If the distribution deal between Latrobe and Crucible were to lapse or if Carpenter decided to turn Latrobe away from tool steel, distributors might find themselves in a bind.

A midwestern tool steel distributor stated "There will be a shortage of tool steel in the near future, ultimately driving prices up".

Another eastern tool steel distributor asks "What is the future of CPM products?"

No doubt, these are legitimate concerns. Any supply shortage would be short-lived as the shortage is sure to attract new entrants to the tool steel market into the US.

You may want to read our article on Choosing a Tool Steel Supplier