ArcelorMittal

The US steel industry is suffering because a barrage of imports has reached a record 34% of market share, steel executives said today at the American Iron and Steel Institute‘s press briefing in Chicago.

Nucor Corp. CEO John Ferriola said 4 million people whose livelihoods depend on the steel industry are at risk, but also that enforcing existing trade and anti-dumping laws consistently would make a wealth of difference for today’s producers.

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“The first step is enforcing existing law as written,” he said. “Legally and consistently enforcing the laws on the books would help immensely… The American worker is still the most efficient worker in the world. We have relatively inexpensive energy, we have the raw material available, we have the best market in the world. When you look at those natural advantages, it makes no sense we should be operating at 60-70% capacity while the rest of the world is overproducing.”

Chinese Dumping

“While many nations continue to engage in unfair trade practices, China is of particular concern,” Baske said. “Last year, China exported 101 million metric tons. A surge of 60% over the previous year and that increase continued at record levels in the first quarter of this year. Some estimates are as high as 468 million mt. Steel demand in China declined last year and is expected to decline this year, too, according to the World Steel Association. China also manipulates its currency to give its products an unfair advantage.”

Baske also noted the business decisions US steelmakers have had to make due to declining prices due to the import surge and they are still in a difficult position due to what the glut has done to prices on the London Metal Exchange.

“On Sept. 3, almost eight months ago, hot-rolled ran $676 a ton. Now it’s $440 a ton,” he said. “In any industry, a 35% to 36% price reduction in that period of time would put pressure on the business. Fair trade will correct it.”

WTO Relief

The executives also noted that while bringing anti-dumping cases with the US International Trade Commission and the World Trade Organization has been somewhat successful, the process has not always worked in the favor of US producers. Even cases that were won, such as last year’s rebar case against Turkey, have not had high enough tariffs to discourage dumping. Gibson said the standard in a safeguard case is higher than in a trade case and the AISI, and the industry as a whole, continue to evaluate all options under the law.

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Today in MetalCrawler, Sherritt International gets another executive, Alcoa is now in the efficient automotive production business and the EU is imposing tariffs on Chinese Steel.

Sherritt Hires ArcelorMittal Canada Exec.

Sherritt International Corp. has named ArcelorMittal Mining Canada President and CEO Steve Wood as its new COO effective from April 27.

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Wood will oversee Sherritt’s operations in Canada, Cuba and Madagascar, including the environmental, health and safety, sustainability, technology, engineering and marketing functions.

Alcoa Gets a Gov’t Loan For Efficient Vehicles

The US Department of Energy has offered a conditional commitment to lend Alcoa Inc. $259 million to expand automotive aluminum sheet production capacity at the supplier’s Tennessee factory, reviving a long-dormant loan program to support the development of energy-efficient vehicles.

The funds will finance most of the costs of a $275 million expansion project already under way at the plant, where Alcoa is converting capacity previously used for making aluminum cans to produce high-strength aluminum for automakers. The project began in 2013 and is expected to add 200 permanent jobs after its mid-2015 completion, plus an additional 400 jobs during peak construction, the company and the DOE said.

EU Imposes Anti-Dumping Duties on Chinese Steel

The European Union will impose anti-dumping duties from Thursday on imports of cold-rolled flat stainless steel from China and Taiwan, according to a notice on Wednesday in the EU’s Official Journal.

The EU will apply tariffs of up to 25.2% for sheet, coil and strip imports from China and up to 12 percent for Taiwanese product, following a complaint lodged in May 2014 by the European steel producers association, Eurofer.

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Steel producer ArcelorMittal‘s Polish arm said on Wednesday it might reduce coal supplies from Polish miner JSW to limit the risk of delivery disruptions if workers’ protests at JSW recur.

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Coal production has stopped at JSW as a result of a miners’ strike, which started on Jan.28, hitting ArcelorMittal, one of its biggest customers, which ceased to receive a significant chunk of supplies.

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40+ Countries have pitched in to build a giant stainless steel arch over Chernobyl’s melted reactor sarcophagus (and the 200+ tons of still-radioactive material buried underneath).

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The arch is officially called the Chernobyl New Safe Confinement (NSC) and will soon be slid in place over the melted reactor.

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Morningstar has published an in-depth research report, “Strike While the Iron is…Cold?” arguing that cheap iron ore will have profound implications for the steel industry. Iron ore’s new normal will mean lower steel prices and a flatter cost curve. At the company level, cheaper iron ore means different things for different players.

FREE Download: The Monthly MMI® Report – covering Steel/Iron Ore markets.

Morningstar reports low iron ore prices will redefine how steelmakers compete. Input costs will remain a key driver of competitiveness but will diminish in relative importance.

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ArclelorMittal is trying to enter the dragon that is China’s automotive steel market. A report by news agency Bloomberg claims China, the world’s top producer and consumer of steel, is considering scrapping the near-decade old ban on foreign companies owning steel mills in the provinces. This move could act as a catalyst for global mills to revive a push into China’s US $423-billion steel sector where demand is seven times higher than in the next biggest market, the US.

FREE Download: The Monthly MMI® Report – covering Steel/Iron Ore markets.

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With the opening of its $832 million joint-venture steel plant in China last Sunday, the world’s largest steelmaker, ArcelorMittal, is in the running to meet the demand for advanced automotive steel in China and other parts of the world.

FREE Download: The Monthly MMI® Report – covering Steel/Iron Ore markets.
China, the world’s top producer and consumer, is considering outright scrapping a near-decade old foreign-owned steel mill ban. This move could act as a catalyst for global mills to revive a push into China’s US $423 billion steel sector.

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Don’t faint, but the European steel sector is finally on the up. Now let’s not go crazy – we don’t mean “on the up” in a Chinese or even a US sense. We are not talking +10% growth or even +4% growth, as in the US, but more like +2%. Even still, it’s a welcome […]

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On Tuesday, the steel billet 3-month price experienced the biggest jump this year, rising a significant 5.4 percent on the LME to $390.00 per metric ton. The steel billet cash price remained essentially flat on the LME at $365.00 per metric ton. One of the major factors in this rise may have been that economic […]

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The steel industry has been here before. Where is “here”? The place of urging the federal government and US Congress to come up with a pro-US-manufacturing agenda that benefits both business and the public good. But the introductory tenor of both the latest public policy agenda from the American Iron and Steel Institute (AISI), and […]

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