Additionally, steel has been strengthening this year on policy changes. Since the start of March, U.S. steel has gained ground after Congress passed a new customs and trade enforcement bill allowing the Obama administration to take action against Chinese dumping. The Department of Commerce imposed a 265.79% tariff on Chinese steel.

Looking at the bigger economic picture, with the economic recovery maturing, the materials sector, which is closely tied to the prices of raw materials, have traditionally done well as inflation rises and late-cycle economic expansions help support demand.

Investors who are interested in gaining exposure to the steel industry can look to the targeted VanEck Vectors Steel ETF (NYSEArca: SLX) and the broader SPDR Metals & Mining ETF (NYSEArca: XME).

SLX tries to reflect the performance of the NYSE Arca Steel Index, which follows global companies involved in the steel industry. Top holdings include prominent names like Rio Tinto 13.7% and Vale SA 10.8%. Country weights include U.S. 38.0%, Brazil 19.7%, U.K. 13.7%, Netherlands 10.7%, Luxembourg 6.9% and South Korea 6.6%.

Investors who want to focus on U.S. steel may turn to XME, which includes a hefty 52.1% tilt toward steel producers, along with 12.5% gold, 8.4% silver, 8.1% aluminum and other positions in various metal miners. XME also limits its top exposures so its portfolio follows a more equal weight methodology, with top positions including Worthington Industries (NYSE: WOR) 5.1%, AK Steel Holding (NYSE: AKS) 5.1% and Allegheny Technologies (NYSE: ATI) 4.8%.

VanEck Vectors Steel ETF (NYSEArca: SLX)