10 Things You Might Want to Know About Nails

Originally published by: Tools of the TradeSeptember 1, 2014

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Several weeks back we linked to a ProSales story about an antidumping case filed against Korea, Malaysia, Oman, Taiwan, and Vietnam that could lead to higher nail prices.

Curious to know more, I read the report issued by the U.S. International Trade Commission (USITC) on the case and discovered some interesting things about nails. Here’s what I found out (the data is from 2013 and applies to steel nails only):

  1. In 2013 the U.S consumed 629,716 tons of steel nails. If that many nails were melted down and cast into a block of solid steel, the block would cover the area of a football field to a depth of 45’ (my calculation—not the USITC’s)
  2. 21% of the nails used in the U.S. were produced in the U.S.; the rest were imported.
  3. Five countries account for 2/3 of the nails imported by the U.S.: China (28%), Taiwan (16%), Korea (11%), UAE (6%), and Vietnam (6%).
  4. 75% of the nails produced in the U.S. were collated.
  5. 88% of the nails produced in the U.S. were bright (no finish).
  6. By weight, 66% of the collated nails produced in the U.S. were commons, 3% were finish nails, and 23% were pallet nails (That’s a lot of pallets! The entire list can be seen below).
  7. 10 companies account for nearly all U.S. nail production; the major producers with plants in this country are: Mid Continent Nail Corporation, ITW, Pneu-Fast, Senco, and Stanley Black & Decker.
  8. The leading U.S. producer is Mid Continent Nail. Their plant is located in Poplar Bluff, Missouri (see a satellite view in Google Maps; it’s the one with the black roof).
  9. A complaint by Mid Continent Nail prompted the antidumping case. Mid Continent is a subsidiary of DeAcero S.A. de C.V, the largest steel wire manufacturer in Mexico.
  10. USITC documents refer to “short tons” of nails. A short ton is 2,000 pounds. A “long ton”, a measurement used in the U.K. before the switch to metric, is 2,240 pounds.

For a look at what goes on in a U.S. nail manufacturing plant see: A Trip to the Nail Factory.

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