How Much Hope?

Steel production in May was 7.5 million tons, smallest for the month since 1942. Moreover, cutbacks in military orders have not poured into the mills as rapidly as expected. These two facts add up to poor prospects for third-quarter steel deliveries to auto makers and others with plans for reconversion to civilian goods.

One trouble: some manufacturers may believe that, by holding back their cancellations, they have a better chance of getting steel after July 1 for civilian output.

But, with the steel industry in the dark on probable cancellations, steel mills are in no position to accept bookings for unrated...

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