Drum It Up! Steel Drum Industry News, Trends, and Issues

Archive for April, 2022

2022 Steel Outlook: Growing Demand & Higher Prices

April 26th, 2022 by Howard Skolnik

Filed under: Industry News, Skolnik Newsletter

Steel is always a hot commodity in the global market, but the demand for steel has increased by record amounts over the past two years, and shortages are causing market issues. Many buyers have expressed their concern about having enough steel for production needs in 2022.

The current shortages are due to supply chain issues that have impacted steel inventory, increasing demand. As a result of the spread of COVID-19 over the past two years, mill outages and transportation blockages have also led to a steel shortage.

The World Steel Association (WSA) reports a projected growth in the demand for steel in 2022, so demand will continue to increase. According to this forecast the growth assumes vaccinations will continue worldwide, which will halt the spread of new COVID variants, so the virus should be less damaging to the global market.

The backlogged demand for steel has also led to strong manufacturing activity, which has helped the steel market. Developed countries worldwide have outperformed the WSA’s expectations due to the high number of vaccinated individuals and government support. However, while the manufacturing side has been doing well, supply chain shortages are still disrupting the global steel market and are preventing a strong recovery in 2022. Due to the backlogged steel orders, the demand will remain high through the next year. Because of the demand for the limited inventory available, steel prices will continue to go up in 2022. The mill shutdowns caused shortages, but they also gave steelmakers time to bring new plants into service and negotiate higher prices for returning customers.

Increased business and consumer spending habits have driven up the demand for steel-bearing products, which are needed for everything from recreational vehicles to food cans and steel drums. Buyers are willing to pay more for these products and will continue to pay increased prices throughout 2022. Check out the full report from the World Steel Association here.

Golf Courses Need to Use Recycled Water

April 19th, 2022 by Howard Skolnik

Filed under: Skolnik Newsletter

Though not a golfer myself, I know many customers and friends love the game and are aware that millions of individuals lack access to clean drinking water around the world. As various industries continue exploiting the natural resource, the global dehydration rate will rise. A significant portion of water misuse comes from the landscaping sector. The aesthetic demands from consumers push landscapers to use large quantities of water, developing plush, green lawns. Environmental changes also cause lawn care professionals to overuse water, depleting local supplies. Golf courses use excessive amounts of fresh water, and greenskeepers can source recycled water to increase their sustainability.

In warm, dry climates, one golf course can use a million gallons of water each day. Researchers predict the necessary golf course water usage will increase as the global evaporation rate rises. As greenhouse gases invade the atmosphere, and earth’s temperature increases, the global water cycle changes.

The overuse of freshwater sources further displaces local supplies, leaving residents, farmers and manufacturers with little water for vital processes. Greenskeepers can decrease resource exploitation by engaging in water reuse. Check out the full report here.

The Case for Oaky Chardonnay

April 12th, 2022 by Jon Stein

Filed under: Skolnik Newsletter, Wine

The “Anything but Chardonnay” (ABC), movement was a direct response to the late 20th century rise of “showy”, over oaked, high alcohol Chardonnays. Writing in the Wine Enthusiast blog, Matt Kettmann reports: “Two decades later, the ABC sentiment is alive and well, even though the prevailing style today, at least for the wines I review from California’s Central Coast, is tight and racy, driven by fresh citrus flavors and chalky textures. I spend a lot of my time educating the “Anything Buts” about the zippy wonders of these “new” vibrant Chardonnays. Though many express doubts at first, my conversion rate is happily high. All Chardonnay needn’t be made the same, and there remains a seat at my table for rich, oaky Chardonnay, which is still plentiful. To me, their butter scotch drizzled, seared marshmallow, honeysuckle-laden flavors are the embodiment of comfort in your cup. Few white wines go as well with a roaring fire as snow falls outside, or to complement both soft and hard cheeses before or after dinner, or as an accompaniment to roasted chicken: such succulent, herb-infused flesh never knew a better beverage buddy than nutty, caramelized Chardonnay.”

Matt goes on to explain that: “A combination of all the above: richness at the core, fresh on the edges and minerally taut on the frame with an umami kick, is arguably the best formula for Chardonnay, no matter where it’s grown. In fact, some of the richest Chards I’ve ever had come from Burgundy, albeit with the region’s hallmark minerality and acidity in tow.”

Kettmann continues: “There’s also something to say about the wisdom of the crowd. Even more common than the “Anything but Chardonnay” crowd are those lifelong fans of opulently oaked Chardonnay, who proudly proclaim their affinity for benchmark brands such as Rombauer. So, as much as we wine “experts” thrive on discovering the next styles and under the-radar producers, there’s solace to be found in the stability of classic styles like oaky Chardonnay. Nothing comes closer to sipping warm rays of sunshine.”

Here at Skolnik Industries, you will love the classic look of our stainless-steel wine barrels. Note that our stainless-steel wine barrels are durable, reusable, easy to clean, and recyclable at the end of their service life. Check out the full line of our Stainless Steel Wine Drums here.

Why choosing the right steel drum matters

April 7th, 2022 by Natalie Mueller

Filed under: Industry News

While you may not think about industrial steel drums every day (we do), you likely see one in real life or media on at least a weekly basis. But despite the ubiquity of steel drums, they are not all the same. A drum is not just a drum. Each has been built, tested and intended for a specific set of purposes and if the wrong type of container is used for the wrong purpose, or for the wrong contents, you can encounter a host of problems: leaks, rust, hefty fines, etc. Choosing the right drum for the job is always important.

There are many questions to consider when determining the proper steel drum for your materials and purpose:

  • What type of steel is suitable for my materials?
  • What size drum do I need?
  • Will my drum require a liner? If so, what type?
  • How will the materials be transported?
  • What requirements must be met to safely and legally transport my container on train, truck, sea or air?
  • What situations might my container encounter in transit? E.g. climate, vibrations, pressure etc.
  • What certifications does my container require? UN certification? OSHA? EPA? DOT? All of the above?

When shipping dangerous goods, only the shipper knows the potential hazards the packaging might face. Thus, the UN requirements state that in addition to the appropriate packaging, testing and certification, shippers must consider the mode of transport as well as conditions of climate when choosing a container.

Skolnik manufactures UN rated drums certified for hazardous materials, but the principal cause of leaks in transport is usually due to handling. Therefore, when purchasing a steel drum for dangerous or other goods, it is critical that a shipper include all relevant details in their request to their supplier/manufacturer. It isn’t enough to have an drum rated for “XYZ,” you must ask for a container that meets the appropriate criteria and regulations for your materials, and withstand any potential environments, movement and transportation situations that it may encounter.

It is always best to be over prepared. At Skolnik, we proudly manufacture our steel drums thicker, heavier and stronger than industry standards demand. A thin gauge steel drum won’t survive shipping across the country, let alone across the ocean.

With so many things to consider, it can be a daunting task to choose a container. Talk to a Skolnik Industries representative for help choosing the right drum for your needs.