View All Posts

Steel Prices In 2021: When Will The Price of Steel Go Down?
Lauren Risotto

By: Lauren Risotto on April 7th, 2021

Print/Save as PDF

Steel Prices In 2021: When Will The Price of Steel Go Down?

Steel Pricing

For updated information on steel prices in 2022, we recommend reading:

Will Steel Prices Go Down? 2022 Metal Supply And Steel Price Forecast


Whether you’re a regular buyer of steel or are just starting to shop for a metal roof, we bet you experienced some sticker shock when you received your last steel quote. We don’t blame you.

In the second part of 2020 alone, the price of steel more than doubled, from $440/ton in July 2020 to $900/ton in December 2020. In March 2021, the price reached $1,270/ton and continues to climb with no end in sight.

As manufacturers of metal roofing and siding, Western States Metal Roofing is directly impacted by the price fluctuations of steel and therefore has to always keep a close eye on the steel market. We are getting asked everyday why the prices are going up so much and most importantly, when will it end?

We understand the frustration and while no one has a crystal ball to predict the future, we will do our best in this article to explain what’s going on right now with pricing in the steel industry.

Why Is The Cost Of Steel So High Right Now?

Like any kind of product, the price of steel is in large part determined by supply and demand. As supply decreases, the demand (and price) increases.

The current supply of steel is very low and is causing the price of steel to continue to rise. Keep in mind, this is not the first time that steel costs have exceeded $1,000/ ton. The last time steel prices were this high was in 2008.

Steel is not the only construction material experiencing high pricing. The cost of copper is the highest it’s been in over 10 years, and the price of wood has almost doubled in the US since the beginning of Covid-19. Even freight costs have gone up which contributes to the overall increase in cost when you order metal panels to be delivered.

The global pandemic caused many steel mills to temporarily shut down or slow production for part of 2020. This resulted in a supply shortage, although the effects did not begin to be felt until the second half of the year. However, the pandemic is not the only cause of the steel price increases.

The price of steel began increasing in 2018 after a 25% tariff was placed on the import of steel during the last US presidential administration. This resulted in higher prices on steel goods throughout the country.


When Will The Price Of Steel Peak?

We really wish we had the definitive answer of when steel prices will reach their tipping point. There are many steel forecasters with varying answers. Some say the middle of 2021, others say the beginning of 2022. Some falsely predicted steel prices had peaked in February and would start to decline in March. They were quickly proven wrong when the exact opposite happened and the price of steel continued to increase.

What is fairly certain is that steel pricing will continue to increase until at least June or July of 2021. After that it’s a toss up as to whether the prices remain high or start to go back down to more historical price levels.

Should You Buy Your Metal Roofing Now Or Wait?

Not only has pricing increased, but there’s also a steel shortage. It’s possible that the material that you want will not even be available in the near future. Material that you purchase in April of 2021 will be less expensive than that same material if it’s purchased in June or July of 2021. If your job is scheduled for this time period, then we would recommend that you pre-purchase the steel now to lock in the pricing and availability.

If your job is in August through September, it could go either way, but keep in mind that all of the expensive steel that’s been purchased for June and July has to cycle through the market before prices start to go down significantly. That normally takes at least a month or two. Therefore, I would buy my steel as soon as possible for any job that starts before September and try to lock in April or May prices. For jobs that are further into the future there is no way of knowing what will happen.

Request a Free Color Sample


Metal Roofing Quotes Are Time Sensitive Due To The Price Of Steel

During normal times a metal roofing quote is typically valid for 15-30 days. In this market quotes are valid for as little as one day and rarely valid for more than 1-2 weeks. If you have an older quote, the manufacturer or installer will have to rebid the job.


Request A Quote For Metal Roofing Today

With the steel market continuing to go up and the future being unpredictable, we strongly recommend requesting a quote now if:

  • Your project is expected to begin before the end of summer 2021
  • You have a materials list and/ or know what your project needs

To get started on your metal roofing or siding project, request a quote today.

For updated information on steel prices in 2022, we recommend reading:

Will Steel Prices Go Down? 2022 Metal Supply And Steel Price Forecast


Get a Free Quote for Metal Roof or Metal Wall Panels Today! Click Here

Metal Roofing Learning Cener

About Lauren Risotto

Lauren is the Content Manager at Western States Metal Roofing and provides insight on content creation and product promotions.