According to a report released by PricewaterhouseCoopers (http://www.pwc.com), the metals industry continued to consolidate in 2005 as the leading producers sought to control the rising cost of raw materials by purchasing their suppliers outright. It is estimated that further Mergers and Acquisitions (M&A) activity in the sector is likely and that China will be a significant source of M&As over the next few years as it continues to produce and consume steel at a record pace. According to the report, there were 250 metals industry deals in 2005, far surpassing the 166 in 2004. However, the total value of the deals in 2005 was only $35 billion, less than $37 billion in deals the previous year. The steel sector led the way in 2005 M&A activity, as it did in 2004, with 165 deals collectively worth $27.4 billion. The report can be downloaded at http://www.pwc.com/metals.