b'1.1 Investments in steel capacityproceeding in US and EuropeBut bearish industry sentiments expressed by some US expertsNucor Corp. announced plans in January to build a new steel plate mill in the United States Midwest. Nucors board approved an investment of $1.35 billion to build the mill, which is expected to be fully operational in 2022 and capable of producing 1.2 million tons a yearPeter Buxbaum, AJOTThis article was originally published on of steel plate products. The company plans on announcing the site for the new project in theJanuary 28, 2019 in issue #681coming weeks.Nucor currently also operates plate mills in North Carolina, Alabama, and Texas. The new plate mill will enable Nucor to supply plate products new to the company. By building this state-of-the-art plate mill in the Midwest, said Leon Topalian, Nucors executive vice president of beam and plate products, we will enhance our ability to serve our customers in the region while also furthering our goal of meeting all the steel needs of our customers around the country.The move comes on the heels of a Nucor announcement in September 2018 that it would invest $650 million to expand the production capability of the companys flat-rolled sheet steel mill located in Ghent, Kentucky, and $176 million to construct a new hot band con-tinuous pickle galvanizing line at the same location. U.S. Steel and Big River Steel also an-nounced expansions to existing plant capacity last year.Meanwhile, construction on the first new steel plant in Europe in 40 years began in April 2018. Voestalpine announced the startup of new high-tech and fully digitized forge in Kap-fenberg, Austria, with an investment of some 350 million euros. The plant, still under con-struction, began production in October 2018.Nucor CEO John Ferriola credits the Trump administration with taking the decisive and meaningful actions that American manufacturers need to compete on a level playing field. Tax reform, continued improvements to our regulatory approach, and strong trade enforce-ment, he added, are giving businesses like ours the confidence to make long-term capital investments in the U.S. that create jobs and ensure our success for decades to come.But a January 14, 2019, report in The New York Times paints a less-than-rosy picture of the steel industry in the United States. Domestic prices for hot-rolled coil steel spiked by 40% during the first half of 2018, according to the report, in reaction to Trump administration tariffs on imported steel, only to fall over 20% during the second half of the year. Flagging demand, due to higher end prices and slowing production and investments by steel users, caused prices to crater. Employment in the sector has remained stagnant, as steel producers rely more on automation for production. Share prices for many steel companies plummeted in recent months and the consensus among the Times experts was for a bearish 2019 for the steel sector. Ferriola disagrees with that assessment, saying that the companys investments are part of our planned strategy for long-term profitable growth and that they increase our presence in the important Midwest market, specifically in the automotive, agriculture, heavy equipment, and energy pipe and tube sectors. Nucors shares fell by 18 percent in 2018, a moderate 2019 Collection Breakbulk Shipping 5'