Italy’s troubled Ilva steel plant could attract bids from two foreign groups within days, industry sources said on Friday, holding out a lifeline to the lossmaking plant whose future is in doubt following an environmental scandal in 2012.
Privately-owned Ilva, Europe’s biggest steel plant by output capacity, was placed under special administration last year after being accused of failing to contain toxic emissions, threatening the jobs of its over 16,000 employees.
The company, which supplies key raw materials to the automotive and manufacturing sectors, is losing tens of millions of euros every month, posing a headache for the government of Prime Minister Matteo Renzi which is on a mission to attract foreign investors to save domestic industries. The 2 parties expected to make initial offers for the plant are Indian steelmaker JSW Steel, and a joint venture led by Luxemburg-based ArcelorMittal, the world’s largest steel producer, together with Italian steel processor Marcegaglia, 2 sources close to the situation told Reuters.
Chinese steel prices were flat for the day. The price of iron ore 58% fines from India hit a high price of CNY 840.00 ($136.83) and a low price of CNY 830.00 ($135.21) per dry metric ton. The price of Chinese HRC was unchanged at CNY 3,030 ($493.58) per metric ton. The price of Chinese coking coal continues hovering around CNY 1,390 ($226.43) per metric ton for the fifth day in a row.
For the fifth consecutive day, the steel billet cash price held flat on the LME at $450.00 per metric ton. For the fifth day in a row, the steel billet 3-month price remained essentially flat on the LME at $455.00 per metric ton.
The 3-month price of the US HRC futures contract showed little movement last Friday, hovering around $635.00 per short ton. The US HRC futures contract spot price saw little change in its price last Friday at $639.00 per short ton.