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Diving into the world of global steel trading can be exhausting sometimes. If you are a steel trader, you are certainly no stranger to finding yourself beset on all sides by head-twisting questions.

Where to buy steel products? What type of steel to buy? How to find a trusted supplier and form reliable business relationships? How to go global in your steel trading business.

Worry no more. We have the answers you’ve been seeking!

Check out our guide below to better navigate in the world of steel!

Where to buy steel

Get-to-know guide to different types of steel

Different types of steel: Classified by chemical composition

Carbon Steel

Carbon steel is steel with a carbon content of up to 2.1% by weight. The higher the carbon content in steel, the harder and stronger it becomes with heat treatment. However, it becomes less pliable. Regardless of the heat treatment, a higher carbon content reduces weldability. In carbon steels, the higher carbon content lowers the melting point.

There are four classes of Carbon steel based on the carbon content.

TypesCarbon Content
Low-carbon steel0.05 to 0.30% carbon content.
Medium-carbon steelApproximately 0.3–0.8% carbon content.
High-carbon steelApproximately 0.8–2.0% carbon content.
Ultra-high-carbon steelApproximately 3.25–4.0% carbon content. This type of steel can be tempered to excellent hardness.


There are various uses of Carbon steel in different fields with multiple purposes. While low-carbon steel is suitable for making fences, medium carbon steel with a medium amount of carbon is best suited and used for constructing bridges and buildings. The main application of high carbon steel is for wires. Lastly, ultra-high carbon steel, also known as “Cast iron,” is used to make pots and pans.

Alloy Steel

Alloy steels are a product of combining carbon steel with one or several alloying elements, such as manganese, silicon, nickel, titanium, copper, chromium, and aluminum. The effect of these added metals is to produce specific properties that buyers cannot find in regular carbon steel. These elements are added in varying proportions to help steel take on different properties.

These properties include increased hardness, corrosion resistance, strength, and improved formability (ductility). The weldability can also change.

Alloying Elements & Their Effects

Alloying ElementsEffects
ChromiumAdds hardness: increased toughness and wear resistance
CobaltUsed in making cutting tools; improves Hot Hardness (or Red Hardness)
ManganeseIncreases surface hardness; improves resistance to strain, hammering & shocks
NickelIncreases strength & toughness; enhances corrosion resistance
TungstenAdds hardness and improves grain structure, provides improved heat resistance
VanadiumIncreases strength, toughness, and improved shock and corrosion resistance
Chromium-VanadiumGreatly enhances tensile strength. It is hard but easy to bend and cut.


Making pipes: Pipes made of alloy steel have exceptional performance properties. They are generally developed for energy-related applications involving oil and gas drilling and are subjected to stresses in machine parts.

With the proper combination, alloy steels can be used to manufacture:Boats, aircraft, railroad cars, and machinery.Electrical springs, boat propellersElectrical hardware, tools, heavy gears,Silverware, pots, and pansCorrosion-resistant containers

Stainless Steel

Stainless steel is an alloy of Iron with a minimum of 10.5% Chromium. Chromium produces a thin layer of oxide on the surface of the steel known as the ‘passive layer.’ This element prevents any further corrosion of the surface. Increasing the amount of Chromium gives an increased resistance to corrosion.

Stainless steels are notable for their corrosion resistance, which increases with increasing chromium content. Additions of molybdenum increase corrosion resistance in reducing acids and against pitting attacks in chloride solutions. Thus, there are numerous grades of stainless steel with varying chromium and molybdenum contents to suit the environment the alloy must endure.

Stainless steel’s characteristics, resistance to corrosion and staining, low maintenance, and familiar luster make it an ideal material for any application, where steel strength and corrosion resistance are required.


Stainless steel is rolled into sheets, plates, bars, wire, and tubing. The everyday use is cookware, cutlery, surgical instruments, major appliances. In addition, it is used in construction material in large buildings, such as the Chrysler Building as well as industrial equipment, i.e. (for example, in paper mills, chemical plants, water treatment), and storage tanks and tankers for chemicals and food products (for example, chemical tankers and road tankers).

Stainless steel’s corrosion resistance, the ease with which it can be steam cleaned and sterilized, and no need for other surface coatings have also influenced its use in commercial kitchens and food processing plants.

Tool steel

Refers to a variety of carbon and alloy steels that are particularly well-suited for making tools. Their suitability comes from their exceptional hardness, resistance to abrasion and deformation, and their ability to hold a cutting edge at elevated temperatures.

With a carbon content between 0.5% and 1.5%, tool steels are manufactured under carefully controlled conditions to produce the required quality. There are six types of tool steels: water-hardening, cold-work, shock-resistant, high-speed, hot-work, and special purposes.

The choice of group to select depends on cost, working temperature, required surface hardness, strength, shock resistance, and toughness requirements. The more severe the service conditions (such as higher temperature, corrosiveness, loading), the higher the alloy


Tool steel is mainly used to shape other materials due to their exceptional hardness, resistance to abrasion and deformation, and ability to hold a cutting edge at elevated temperatures.

Different types of steel: Classified by Coating

Black steel

Black steel is created through a mill process involving rolling the steel at a high temperature (typically at a temperature over 1700° F) above the steel’s recrystallization temperature.

When steel is above the recrystallization temperature, it can be shaped and formed easily, and as a result, steel can come in much larger sizes. Black steel is typically cheaper than bright drawn steel since there are no delays in its manufacturing process, and therefore the reheating of the steel is not required (as it is with bright drawn). When the steel cools off, it will shrink slightly, thus giving less control on the size and shape of the finished product than bright drawn.


For example, black products like black steel bars are used in the welding and construction trades to make railroad tracks and I-beams. Black steel is used in situations where precise shapes and tolerances are not required.

Galvanized steel

Galvanized steel is a type of steel that has been galvanized by applying a zinc coating throughout its body. The purpose is to protect it from corroding or rusting. Galvanized steel has a longer life and durability compared to non-galvanized steel. The application process of zinc on a steel structure is called “galvanization.”


Galvanized steel is available in a variety of forms, such as galvanized pipes and galvanized wire. It is used in high tension electrical towers, protective gears, and highway signs. Many commercial buildings have an exterior layer of galvanized steel, mainly on the walls and pillars, to protect the entire structure from rusting and corrosion. Also, the typical appearance of this alloy imparts the constructed buildings with an ability to merge with the surrounding structures.

Pre-painted steel

Pre-painted steel is a type of steel that has been coil coated, on which a coating material (e.g., paint, film, and so on) has been applied by coil coating. Buyers can use a wide range of organic layers for prepainted metal, developed to provide different levels of durability and performance or satisfy additional aesthetic requirements.

Liquid paints account for more than 90% of the coatings used for prepainted steel. Films are often used where very high aesthetic quality is required. Users can achieve variations in film thickness, colors, and finish (smooth, structured, or printed).

Think of Powder coatings as “solid paint,” which is meltable to form a continuous film over the substrate. Each type of coating has its specific advantages: thickness, gloss, hardness, flexibility, durability in harsh weather, or resistance to chemical attack. The choice of the most suitable system must be based on its usage and expected performance.


Pre-paint steel is used in many applications, including metal roofing, garage doors, lighting fixtures, appliances, and heating and air-conditioning.

Where to Buy Steel: Top steel suppliers in the world

Top Steel Suppliers in Asia

  • China Baowu Steel Group Corp., Ltd

China Baowu Steel Group Corp., Ltd. is a state-owned steel company headquartered in the Baosteel Tower in Pudong, Shanghai, China. Baosteel is the fifth-largest steel supplier globally, measured by crude steel output, with around 35 million tons annual production.

It has annual revenues of approximately $21.5 billion and suppliers a mix of products. A plan to merge with Wuhan Iron and Steel Corporation was announced on 21–22 September 2016, which would make the combined production volume the second-highest in the world (34.938 million + 25.776 million), after ArcelorMittal (97.136 million in 2015), surpassing Hesteel Group (47.745 million in 2015).

Baosteel Co., Ltd. sticks to the development road of “innovation, coordination, greenness, openness, and sharing” and possesses the world-renowned brand and the world’s first-class technical level and service capability. The company emphasizes cultivating its innovation capacity, actively developing and applying advanced technology for manufacturing, energy conservation, and environmental protection, and has established a marketing, processing, and service network with nationwide coverage and worldwide involvement.

Its independently developed new generation high strength automotive steel, oriented silicon steel, high-grade steel for household appliances, oil gas pipes, steel for bridges, hot-rolled heavy rail, and other high-end products reach the world’s advanced level.Steel products:

  • Hot Rolled Steel
  • Hot Rolled Steel Sheet (Pickled)
  • Cold Rolled Steel Sheet
  • Galvanized Steel Sheet
  • Prepainted Steel Sheet
  • Tin Plate

Volume of steel production: 95.5 million tonnes.

  • Hesteel Group Company Limited

Hesteel Group Company Limited is a Chinese iron and steel manufacturing conglomerate. The company is also known as Hesteel Group or its pinyin short name Hegang. Hesteel Group is the second-largest steel supplier in the world measured by crude steel output (after European-Indian conglomerate ArcelorMittal) in 2015, according to the World Steel Association.

The Group encompasses over 30 subsidiaries with 120,000 employees enrolled. Centering on steelmaking, they are also involved in mineral resources, financial services, modern logistics, iron & steel trade, and equipment manufacturing. In 2016, their operating income stood at 290.8 billion RMB and total year-end assets at 360.4 billion RMB. It ranked 221th among the global 500.

The group got the “highly competitive” ranking — the highest rating of the Report on the comprehensive competitiveness of Chinese iron and steel enterprises in 2016. Now HBIS is a member of the World Steel Association’s Executive Committee and the rotating Presidential Enterprise of China Steel Association.Steel products:

  • Hot-rolled strip for automobile
  • Hot-rolled strip for oil pipelines,
  • Hot-rolled strip for hull structure,
  • Hot rolled weathering strip
  • Hot rolled carbon structure steel strip,
  • Hot-rolled quality carbon steel strip for export,
  • Hot-rolled quality tool steel strip,
  • Hot-rolled strip for cold forming, checkered steel strip,
  • Hot rolled electrical steel strip, Hot rolled strip for welded gas cylinder
  • Hot-rolled strip for spring, hot rolled enamel steel strip,
  • Hot-rolled strip for electrical power pipe,
  • Hot-rolled strip for pipe

Volume of steel production: 63.8 million tonnes.

  • Nippon Steel & Sumitomo Metal Corporation

Nippon Steel & Sumitomo Metal Corporation was formed in 2012 with the merger of Nippon Steel and Sumitomo Metal. NSSMC aims at building a global and optimal production system based on high technological capabilities and at globally expanding business by taking advantage of our competitiveness in products and costs. By focusing on technology, price, and being global, their three strategic areas are automotive, energy/resources, and infrastructure-related. They intend to expand shares mainly in the high end of those markets with medium to long-term growth potential.

At present, NSSMC produces approximately 50 million tons of crude steel per year. Since the integration in 2012 of Nippon Steel and Sumitomo Metals to form NSSMC, they have consolidated facilities. Still, they have maintained production capacity by raising productivity by deploying our technological capability and, at the same time, have enhanced cost competitiveness. The present status of their improvement of production facilities is to complete changes that include, in particular, consolidation of 14 blast furnaces to 12, 32 converters to 28, and continuous casting facilities from 30 units to 27 from the integration in 2012 to the end of 2020.Steel products:

  • Steel
  • Flat steel products
  • Long steel products
  • Wire steel products
  • Steel plates

Volume of steel production: 46.2 million tonnes.


POSCO is a multinational steel-making company headquartered in Pohang, South Korea. It had an output of 42 million tonnes of crude steel in 2015, making it the world’s fourth-largest steelmaker by this measure. In 2010, it was the world’s largest steel manufacturing company by market value. Also, in 2012, it was named as the 146th world’s largest corporation by the Fortune global 500.

POSCO currently operates two integrated steel mills in South Korea, in Pohang and Gwangyang. In addition, POSCO operates a joint venture with U.S. Steel, USS-POSCO, located in Pittsburg, California, United States.Steel products:

  • Hot-rolled steel,
  • Steel plate
  • Wire rod
  • Cold-rolled steel
  • Galvanized steel
  • Electrical galvanized steel
  • Electrical steel
  • Automotive materials
  • Stainless steel

Volume of steel production: 41.6 million tonnes.

  • Jiangsu Shagang Group Company Limited

Jiangsu Shagang Group Company Limited is located in Zhangjiagang, Jiangsu, China, an Economic Development Zone of the Yangtze River. According to a 2008 survey conducted by the All-China Federation of Industry and Commerce (ACFIC), the company was the largest privately owned company in China at the time.

It involves the production and sales of “Shagang” brand steel products. At the end of 2007, it employed over 26,700 staff, covered an area of 10 km2, and had total assets of over RMB100 billion Yuan.

Iron and steel are girding China’s economic development, and Jiangsu Shagang is a big part of that process. The company processes some 18 million tons of iron annually to roll out about 23 million tons of steel each year, making it one of China’s top-five steel suppliers. Jiangsu Shagang’s product line includes rebar, wire rods, slabs, and hot-rolled coils. In addition to iron and steel, Jiangsu Shagang produces stainless steel and zinc-plated steel sheets. Since 2006, the company has acquired four smaller, rival steel companies, and it now ranks as China’s largest private steel supplier.Steel products:

  • Wide and Heavy Steel Plate
  • Hot-rolled Steel Coil
  • Cold-rolled Steel Coil
  • Wire Rod, Rebar
  • Rods and Bars
  • Steel Strand
  • Welded Steel Pipe
  • Special Steel Billet

Volume of steel production: 33.3 million tonnes.

  • Chinh Dai Industrial Ltd.

With 18+ years of continuous expansion and innovation, Chinh Dai Industrial Ltd. has become one of the leading steel pipe manufacturers in the region with a presence in many large-scale projects. Placing Dignity, Stature, and Credibility at the core value, Chinh Dai steel is committed to satisfying customers’ highest product and service quality demands.

After nearly 3 years of export experience, Chinh Dai is trusted and well-recognized by many global and regional trading houses in Southeast Asia and demanding overseas markets like Australia. Chinh Dai aspires to become the first name that comes to your mind when you’re asking the tricky question “where to buy steel.”Our Products:

Galvanized Rolled Steel Coils

Where to buy steel: Galvanized Steel Coil

Chinh Dai Company’s rolled galvanized steel coils products are manufactured based on Japanese, Korean and Chinese hot rolled coils. Zinc raw materials are imported from Australia, Korea, and Brazil. The surface is specially treated with a chemical protective layer imported from India so that our products have these outstanding characteristics:

  • The surface will always be to be shiny and beautifully patterned.
  • The zinc layer is thick (Z12 – Z18), resistant to corrosion, and can protect the inner layer for an extended period.

Galvanized Steel Pipe

Where to buy steel: Galvanized Steel Pipe

Chinh Dai Company’s galvanized steel pipes products are manufactured based on Japanese, Korean and Chinese hot rolled coils. Zinc raw materials are imported from Australia, Korea, and Brazil. The surface is specially treated with a chemical protective layer imported from India so that the products have the following outstanding characteristics:

  • The surface is shiny and beautifully patterned.
  • High durability and excellent pressure resistance thanks to the thick Zinc layer (Z12 – Z18), increased corrosion resistance, and inner layer protected for an extended period.

Black Steel Pipe

Where to buy steel: black steel pipe

Chinh Dai Company’s Black Steel Pipes Products are manufactured based on Japanese standard JIS G3466 to make a breakthrough solution of quality, price, and other economic benefits. As a result, they have high durability, excellent resistance to corrosion and rust, and suitability for sea area construction (high oxidation).

Our product was pioneered in industrial-scale manufacturing and became an alternative to a large part of the former Black Steel Pipe use.

Special Steel Product

where to buy steel_steel pipe

Chinh Dai supplies other steel products such as oval tubes and fences with outstanding characteristics that are tricky for most manufacturers to make.

With a modern and closed production line, strict quality control from input to output, Chinh Dai’s unique products are always ensured the best quality, accurate thickness, and surface size.At Chinh Dai, we also produce:

  • Goat fence panel
  • Sheep fence panel
  • Cow fence panel
  • Horse fence panel
where to buy steel: cattle panel

Top steel suppliers in Europe

  • ArcelorMittal S.A

ArcelorMittal is the largest steel producer in the Americas, Africa, and Europe and is the fifth-largest steel producer in the CIS region. ArcelorMittal has steel-making operations in 18 countries on four continents, including 47 integrated and mini-mill steel-making facilities. As of December 31, 2017, ArcelorMittal had approximately 197,000 employees.

ArcelorMittal’s steel-making operations have a high degree of geographic diversification. Approximately 37% of its crude steel is produced in the Americas, about 46% is made in Europe, 16% comes from other countries, such as Kazakhstan, South Africa, and Ukraine.

In addition, ArcelorMittal’s sales of steel products are spread over both developed and developing markets, which have different consumption characteristics. ArcelorMittal’s mining operations, present in North and South America, Africa, Europe, and the CIS region, are integrated with its global steel-making facilities and are essential iron ore and coal producers in their own right.Steel products:

  • Flat steel products: Hot rolled coil, Cold rolled coil, Hot rolled plate, Galvanized coil.
  • Long steel products: Steel bars, steel beams, steel column, Square, Round steel bar, Reinforcing bar, Structural sections.

Volume of steel production: 63.8 million tonnes.

  • ThyssenKrupp

Thyssenkrupp AG is a German multinational conglomerate focusing on steel production. The company is based in Duisburg and Essen and is divided into 670 subsidiaries worldwide. It is one of the world’s largest steel producers; it was ranked fifteenth-largest steel supplier by volume of steel produced in 2016.

In addition to steel production, Thyssenkrupp’s products range from machines and industrial services to high-speed trains, elevators, and shipbuilding. The subsidiary ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems manufactures frigates, corvettes, and submarines for German and foreign navies.Steel products:

  • Flat steel products: Steel plate, Flat sheet, Marine Sheet, Tread Plate.
  • Long steel products: Flat and square bars, Flats bar, Round bar; Packaging steel, Electrical Steel, Organic coated strip and sheet.

Volume of steel production: 17.2 million tonnes.

  • Novolipetsk Steel

Novolipetsk Steel, or NLMK, is one of Russia’s four largest steel companies with a 21% domestic crude steel production share. NLMK also produces specialty coated steels, plus high-ductility and micro-alloyed steels.

NLMK Group is consistently a financially stable business. Having completed the investment phase of its development, NLMK Group turned its focus to increasing the efficiency of its business processes, developing its resource base, strengthening its positions in strategic markets, and enhancing safety in manufacturing. Structural savings of $547 million in 2014-2016, generated by operational efficiency programs, have increased business profitability.Steel products:

  • Flat steel product: Hot-rolled steel, Cold-rolled steel, Galvanized steel, pre-painted steel.
  • Long steel product: Wire rod, metalware, sections, rebar, billets. Heavy plate.

Volume of steel production: 16.64 million tonnes.


EVRAZ is a vertically integrated steel, mining and vanadium business with operations in the Russian Federation, USA, Canada, Czech Republic, Italy, and Kazakhstan.

They are among the top steel producers globally based on crude steel production of 14 million tonnes in 2017. Its mining operations cover a significant portion of its internal consumption of iron ore and coking coal.

The Group is listed on the London Stock Exchange and is a constituent of the FTSE 100. EVRAZ employs approximately 70,000 people. The company’s consolidated revenues for the year ended 31 December 2017 were US$10,827 million, and consolidated EBITDA amounted to US$2,624 million.

EVRAZ includes Manufacturing steel and Steel products, iron ore mining and enrichment, Coal mining, Manufacturing Vanadium products, Trading operation, and Logistics.Steel products:

  • Railway steel
  • Hot-rolled steel
  • Cold-rolled steel
  • Hot-rolled angle
  • Steel i-beam
  • Round bar
  • Square bar

Volume of steel production: 13.53 million tonnes.

  • Magnitogorsk Iron & Steel Works (MMK)

MMK is one of the world’s largest steel producers and a leading Russian metals company. The company’s operations in Russia include a large steel-producing complex encompassing the entire production chain, from preparing ore to downstream processing of rolled steel. MMK turns out a broad range of steel products with a predominant share of high-value-added products.

In 2016 MMK Group produced 12,5 million tonnes of crude steel and 11,6 million tonnes of commercial steel products. MMK Group had sales in 2016 of USD 5,630 million and EBITDA of USD 1,956 million.Steel products:

  • Long products: Wire rod, Square bar, round bar, strips, rebars;
  • Flat products: Hot-rolled coils, hot-rolled sheets, cold-rolled coils, cold-rolled sheets, black plate; Tin plate, galvanized products, U-beam, Angles, Pipes.

Volume of steel production: 12.54 million tonnes.

Top steel suppliers in America

  • Gerdau S.A

Gerdau, headquartered in Sao Paulo, is the largest producer of long steel in the Americas, with steel mills in Brazil, Argentina, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Dominican Republic, Guatemala, India, Mexico, Peru, United States, Uruguay, and Venezuela. It also holds a 40% stake in the Spanish company Sidenor.

Currently, Gerdau has an installed capacity of 26 million metric tons of steel per year and offers steel for civil construction, automobile, industrial, agricultural, and various sectors. Gerdau is also the world’s 14th largest steelmaker. It has 337 industrial and commercial units and more than 45,000 employees across 14 countries.

Gerdau’s core business is to transform steel scrap and iron ore into steel products. Gerdau is a leading producer of long steel in the Americas and one of the world’s largest suppliers of special steel. It is the largest recycler in Latin America. Around the world, it transforms millions of metric tons of scrap into steel each year, reinforcing its commitment to sustainable development in the regions where it operates. With more than 140,000 shareholders, the Company is listed on the stock exchanges of São Paulo, New York, and Madrid.Steel products:

  • Structural pipe
  • Rebar
  • Galvanized roofing
  • Beams
  • Column
  • Angle
  • Billet
  • Cold-rolled seamed tubing
  • Round bar
  • Wire rod

Volume of steel production: 15.95 million tonnes.

  • United States Steel Corporation

The United States Steel Corporation, more commonly known as U.S. Steel, is an American integrated steel producer headquartered in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, with production operations in the United States, Canada, and Central Europe. In 2016, the company was the world’s 24th largest steel producer and second-largest domestic producer, only trailing behind Nucor Corporation.

Though renamed USX Corporation in 1986, the company returned to its present name in 2001 after spinning off its energy business, including Marathon Oil and other assets from its core steel concern. The company experienced significant downsizing during the 1980s; a decline in market capitalization resulted in its removal from the S&P 500 Index in 2014.Steel products:

  • Galvanized sheet
  • Hot-rolled sheet/strip
  • Cold-rolled sheet/strip
  • Flat-rolled steel
  • Tubular steel

Volume of steel production: 154.22 million tonnes.

  • Techint Group

Techint is an Italian-Argentine conglomerate founded in Milan in 1945 by Italian industrialist Agostino Rocca and headquartered in Milan (Italy) and Buenos Aires (Argentina).

Today the Techint Group is composed of six leading companies with an international reach, all global or regional leaders in their fields, in the following areas of business: engineering, construction, steel, mining, oil & gas, industrial plants, healthcare.

Techint, with its subsidiaries, is the largest steel-making company in Latin America. Techint is the world’s largest manufacturer of seamless steel tubes, mainly used in the oil industry.

With an annual production capacity of approximately 11 million tons of finished steel products and 16,700 employees, Ternium has production facilities located in Mexico, Argentina, Colombia, Guatemala, the United States, and a network of service and distribution centers in Latin America. In addition, Ternium participates in the control group of Usiminas, a Brazilian steel company.Steel products:

  • Tubular steel
  • Flat-rolled steel

Volume of steel production: 7.98 million tonnes.

  • AK Steel Holding Corporation

AK Steel Holding Corporation is a steelmaking company headquartered in West Chester Township, Butler County, Ohio. The company’s name is derived from the initials of Armco, its predecessor company, and Kawasaki Steel Corporation, which contributed several of its production facilities to the company in 1989 in exchange for a significant stake in the company.

The company operates 8 steel plants and 2 manufacturing plants. The steel plants are in Ashland, Kentucky, Butler, Pennsylvania, Coshocton, Ohio, Dearborn, Michigan, Mansfield, Ohio, Middletown, Ohio, Rockport, Indiana, and Zanesville, Ohio.

Of the company’s 2016 sales, 66% was to the automotive industry, 16% was to the infrastructure and manufacturing industry, and 18% was to distributors and converters.Steel products:

  • Carbon steel
  • Stainless steel
  • Electrical steel
  • Tubular products

Volume of steel production: 5.05 million tonnes.

  • Altos Hornos de Mexico, S.A.B. de C.V. (AHMSA)

Altos Hornos de Mexico, S.A.B. de C.V. (AHMSA) is the largest integrated steel plant in Mexico. It has corporate offices in Monclova, Coahuila, in the center of the Mexican state of Coahuila, 155 miles from the United States border.

AHMSA’s main steel-making facilities and corporate offices are located in Monclova, Coahuila, close to transportation lines, raw materials supplies, principal points of export, and the company’s major domestic markets. AHMSA operates at an annual production rate of 3.5 million metric tons of liquid steel, with a workforce of 22,250 people, including its subsidiary companies.Steel products:

  • Hot-rolled steel
  • Cold-rolled steel
  • Structural steel
  • Tin plate
  • Tin-free steel

Volume of steel production: 4.65 million tonnes.

Best Techniques to Verify Your Wholesale Suppliers

“Is this guy legit?”

This question is undoubtedly one of the biggest questions for any steel buyer when brooding upon the question of where to buy steel. In general, you can verify a supplier with these simple tips:

  • Proactively checking verification, using techniques listed under business registration verification, phone number and address verification, financial checking, reputation checking, and website authentication.
  • Get updated on potential risks and red flags in areas such as product knowledge and transaction practices.

If you are generous, in both “cash and time,” you can pursue a higher level of verification. We have put together a list of the best techniques you can use to verify your wholesale suppliers.

Business Registration

Every company, regardless of country, has a business registration number. Do not hesitate to ask your supplier to provide proof of its registration. However, a registration document is not enough. Document forgery is simple and common. The registration number is your first step.

Other Countries

To find a verification website in another country, Vietnam for example, use, and type “google vietnam” in the search bar, to find the google Vietnam website, then check “only English pages” to refine your search results. Then type “verify company” for access to the country’s verification agency or agencies.

CAUTION: Scam artists register their companies so it’s very likely that you will find a middleman or scam artist listed as a legitimate business. However, most scammers don’t make it past one year so finding out how long the company has been in business is a good strategy. If the business has a track record that is longer than one year, that’s a good sign.

If you don’t find such service, ask your wholesaler for the address, phone number and fax of the chamber of commerce/business where their company is registered.

You can make use of an international company’s consulate in your country or your embassy or consulate in their country. Contact the appropriate group and ask if they are familiar with the company. The representative you speak with may not have personal knowledge of the company but will likely have access to lists of legitimate companies in the country as well as scammers.

Email Address

It’s not rare to find scammers impersonating a legitimate company by using a free email address. Therefore, it is essential to verify that the email address the company’s representative is writing from is in fact owned by the company. Contact the company from their official website and ask them to confirm that the email you are corresponding with belongs to them.

Visiting Subsidiaries in Your Country

Ask if the supplier has an office in your country. Large legitimate suppliers often set up offices in major trading countries with staff who can sign contracts, accept deliveries, and generally make sure to smooth the way. The lack of a local office does not necessarily mean that the wholesaler is not legitimate, however.


  • There’s a lot of free information on the Internet.

Search on the company’s name and the word “scam,” “complaints,” “refund,” or “fraud” in several search engines. Example search strings you can use:

companyname scam, companyname complaints, companyname refund, companyname fraud, scam, complaints, refund, fraud

Carefully evaluate any information that you find.

  • Check to see if the company has been vetted on any of the major wholesale directories.

Be aware, however, that sites that rely on advertising revenue often exchange ads for listings. This means that listed suppliers may not have been vetted; they simply placed advertising on the site. It is safer to rely on sites with a serious vetting process that you may have to pay to access. These sites have the expertise to verify a supplier’s status, and that’s generally worth a membership cost.

  • Ask participants on this forum if they have any feedback about the supplier. You can pick up a lot of good information from people in the field that way.

CAUTION: You cannot always expect an answer in a public forum. Good wholesale sources are strong proprietary information, and you won’t find traders giving that information away publicly. However, if you send a private email to a forum contributor and ask if they have any personal knowledge, you may well get an honest response.

  • Ask the supplier for customer references from buyers in a developed country, including the reference company name, contact person, business address, and contact number.

Check the references by phoning them; call them several times of the day and ask for general information. In addition to speaking with the reference company by phone, do the research to be sure they are legitimate, e.g., search for a website. Be aware that this method may not always be practical. Some suppliers may be unwilling to provide information on their customers, or they may worry that you are a competitor trying to take business away from them.


  1. Use Domain name search to verify who has registered the supplier’s web domain name. If the contact information provided publicly is different from the contact information offered by the supplier, ask for an explanation and evaluate their response.
  2. Legitimate company websites have authentic photos of product inventory. You can check the legitimacy of photos by right-clicking on a photo and selecting “properties” in the menu that opens. The images should have an address that originates within the website. If the address originates elsewhere, the actual wholesaler is probably at that base domain address.

Product Info Red Flags

Wholesalers should be experts in the products they are selling. If your wholesaler is fuzzy on specifics, look again before you buy.

  1. If you know the specific product you want to sell, find the manufacturer and ask for a list of authorized wholesalers. You can find the product manufacturer’s name by looking at the product packaging, or sometimes the name of the official importer of the product. Call the manufacturer’s or importer’s sales division and ask for a list of authorized wholesalers to check whether your wholesaler is on their authorized list.
  2. A legitimate wholesaler will be aware of any certifications necessary to sell a product in your country and will be able to demonstrate compliance. Go to a store and look at similar products. Identify any required labeling or certifications. Ask the wholesaler for evidence that products have received the appropriate credentials.

Ask technical questions about the product you are looking to buy. Test the supplier’s knowledge of the product. Ask about the features included. Be cautious when a supplier always replies positively to your requests for product features. It is often an indication the supplier only wants to get your order as quickly as possible, either because they are a scammer or because the goods you are being sold do not match your requirements.

Transaction Red Flags

If your suppliers operate very differently than most wholesalers, you should consider taking a second look.

  1. Legitimate wholesalers will not require a membership fee; they make their money on the markup from selling goods to you, not on additional costs. However, a legitimate wholesaler may ask for a small, refundable setup fee. This fee deters non-serious buyers from creating an account that they will never use. In this type of transaction, the setup fee is usually credited on the first order.
  2. Legitimate wholesalers are not usually out on the Internet trying to entice you to do business with them. While wholesalers are usually glad to sign on new customers, you will not find them actively seeking you out. That behavior is much more typical of scammers who are spending a lot of advertising money to find you and lure you into a false arrangement.
  3. One of the many scams on the Internet offers you a fully functional website stocked with the “wholesalers” products. This arrangement sounds like a dream come true. You will find yourself hopelessly burdened with hosting and other fees while selling the same products as thousands of others.
  4. A supplier setting up an account for you should request your tax ID number; any legitimate wholesaler needs that ID number as proof that you are a retailer and therefore entitled to wholesale pricing. If this information is not part of the requested data exchange, you are not dealing with a legitimate wholesaler.

CAUTION: These pointers may not definitively tell you whether you have a legitimate wholesaler or a scammer. The point is to combine the pieces of information into a bigger picture that makes you feel comfortable moving forward or causes you to reconsider.

Simple Tips That Make Buying Steel Wholesale Easier

How to buy steel wholesale

  • Step 1: Prepare all necessary tax documents and licenses in order
  • Step 2: Decide how much you want to buy. In wholesale, volume is essential. That’s because the more you agree to purchase wholesale, the lower the unit price.
  • Step 3: Find and research your wholesale suppliers
  • Step 4: Network to find deals.

Networking is an essential part of building up a successful business. Talk with other people who have successfully bought wholesale products and made deals to grow your list of contacts.

  • Step 5: Participating in professional groups offering wholesale prices. These groups, which often extend a discount to members, can be listed in industry publications or websites or affiliated with the company where you work.
  • Step 6: After you’ve discovered a reputable source of wholesale merchandise, go through available inventory to match your needs with their inventory
  • Step 7: Request an itemized list of what’s on the pallet/truckload.
  • Step 8: Start with a trial order of 25 – 50 tons at the minimum.
  • Step 9: Pay attention to how you’ll ship your items
  • Step 10: Do your due diligence before you finalize any order.

As most wholesale merchandise is sold “as is, where is,” you’ll need to clarify the seller’s return policy, solidify processing time, and take advantage of any discounts.

5 Questions to Ask Your Steel Supplier

After you solve the question of where to buy steel, now it’s time to dive deeper into what you can do to ensure that you and your supplier understand each other clearly.

  • What will my total costs be?

After a supplier gives you a quotation for the cost of a product or materials, be sure to ask about other fees. For example, will you have to pay delivery fees, fuel surcharges, or restocking charges for returns? “Have [suppliers] go back to the contract and identify any line item that is going to cost you money.”

  • Can you give me a liability insurance certificate?

You should require your suppliers to provide written proof that they have adequate liability insurance if their products or parts malfunction. Make sure that you get a new copy of the liability insurance certificate each year to renew the policy.

  • Can we have a sell-through guarantee?

Nobody wants to get stuck with a finished product that flops or the parts and raw materials for a product that simply refuses to generate any revenue for you. Talk to your suppliers about their return policies. In these circumstances, a sell-through guarantee can be brought onto the negotiation table so that you can get the opportunity to return unsold products or materials, whether for credit or cash.

  • What happens to me if my orders do not arrive?

Inevitably, orders will sometimes arrive late. But what happens then? You should ask your suppliers whether they can offer a discount for goods that don’t arrive on time or payment for goods they didn’t deliver, and you have to get it from another supplier.

  • Under what circumstance might prices change?

It’s not rare to see disputes happen between suppliers and customers when suppliers unexpectedly spring price increases. Make sure you are well-prepared for this scenario by asking them what causes a price change. Is it tied to inflation or an industry index? If prices go up, how soon will you be notified? Conversely, if a supplier’s costs go down, will your price go down, too?

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