Sweden: The Steelmakers' Edge

The battle of the blades is raging among major U.S. razor manufacturers, all of whom have introduced a long-lasting but costly stainless steel product. No matter which razor gets the edge, the steelmakers of Sweden stand to benefit, for they supply the stainless steel used in 90% of the blades.

Cornering the market for the new blade steel is typical of Sweden, which has become a steel power even though its output—3,600,000 tons last year—is barely 1% of the world total. The Cartier of steel, Sweden has a reputation for quality that keeps...

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