From the WSJ article "Steel Finds Sweet Spot in the Shale
"Low natural-gas prices represent a competitive advantage across the U.S. manufacturing base
. The price of natural gas is $11.35 per million BTUs in northwest Europe and $15.9 in Japan, according to researcher Platts, compared with U.S. levels of $2.27 (see chart above).
"Companies that had left the U.S. in sectors like chemicals and fertilizers are talking about coming back to take advantage of the low cost of gas
," said Don Norman, an economist for the Manufacturers Alliance for Productivity and Innovation.
In January, Methanex Corp. of Vancouver said it would relocate a plant to manufacture methanol, used in making plastics and other materials, to Louisiana from Chile. At the time, Bruce Aitken, the company's chief executive, cited "the outlook for low North American natural-gas prices" as key reason for the move. And low natural-gas costs were a factor in the decision by Brazil's Santana Textiles LLC to build a $180 million denim plant now under construction in Edinburg, Texas, rather than Mexico."
HT: Robert J. Kuehl