Stainless Steel

Besides confirming a stainless steel and nickel market outlook recently reported by my colleague Stuart, panelists at the ISRI Commodity Round Table conference last week in Chicago covered several additional trends that we have not previously reported nor have we seen in various metals publications. One observation made by panelist Michael Wright, ELG Haniel GMBH and also President of the British Metals Recycling Association, which we have now heard twice at two separate events, involves the notion of “exchangeability of metal units. In other words, according to Wright, “consumers no longer want to buy stainless steel, they want to buy Ëœmetal units’ with specified levels of various alloying elements such as nickel, molybdenum and iron. We heard a similar comment regarding buying “iron making units, which we will return to in a follow-up post. The purchase of these Ëœmetal units’ places additional responsibility onto the supplier according to Wright, because consumers dictate the actual chemical composition of the particular stainless they intend to purchase. For example, a customer may dictate chrome at 16-17% max. Producers often find it challenging to hit the customer’s targets.

A second trend impacting stainless steel supply chains involves residual levels within the scrap supply chain. An inherent conflict exists between what scrap dealers and suppliers want to deliver to producers (smelters) and what those producers want to receive. Essentially the producers want residual levels held as low as possible (as stated by Missy Bilz of North American Stainless) whereas scrap suppliers would like to see residual levels raised. Also related to residuals, another question examined which types of stainless applications could best tolerate higher residuals. Wright pointed out that kitchenware and cutlery could withstand higher coppers (though he added that makes it a nightmare for recycling) but some industry specifications for say oil and gas would take too long to change and therefore would not be a good candidate for evaluating residual levels.

Another big point of discussion involved the addition of a new flat roll mill coming on stream later this year (ThyssenKrupp). Currently, the US has three major flat roll mills. An audience member wanted to know how the addition of ThyssenKrupp would impact the availability of scrap.  The panelists agreed that a fourth mill would change all of the dynamics of buying scrap in the US. The US will need to consume that material here (vs. export it). That discussion evolved into questions about stainless steel over-capacity within the US market. Another audience member wanted to know whether M&A consolidation would take some of the over-capacity offline or would existing producers need to shut down capacity. Panelists suggested that Thyssen had already started to undercut the market, though their pricing appears less severe on the steel side (vs. the stainless side). Speaker Chris Olin of Cleveland Research Company, a firm that provides sell side research for carbon, stainless and high performance materials, said, “There is a pretty big need to rationalize supply. When asked whether or not the market could expect further consolidation in the stainless sector, panelist Michael Wright answered, “No, the greatest growth rate for stainless production will occur in China. The growth rate is there. In China, there is little opportunity to join up with a Chinese company or a scrap operation. It is proving very difficult. I don’t see any consolidations in recycling perhaps some activity around merging grades.

Panelists also shared a few statistics that we thought MetalMiner readers might find of interest:

  1. The number of times a ton of nickel turns on the LME for stainless production (25x)!
  2. Stainless has the highest recycle rate of any metal (over 80%)
  3. Between 2008 and 2013 As a percentage of total world stainless production, Asia’s share will grow from 55% to 68%. However, scrap generation will run well behind demand. China will generate only 25-30% of its requirement. It’s too expensive for China and that’s why they are going into nickel pig iron.

–Lisa Reisman

Nickel suppliers are hoping to make hey while the sun shines or more to the point make profits while nickel demand remains strong. Off from an overdone peak of $27,000 per ton in the spring, nickel prices have picked up recently and physical premiums are robust on the back of limited supply and reasonably solid demand according to Platts. In a Reuters report both Acerinox and Outokumpo have gone on record as saying they expect third quarter stainless demand to be soft resulting in a fall of 10-20% in demand. For those like Outokumpo that have swung from loss to profit and back again over recent quarters, the third quarter will likely result in losses again. But demand is widely expected to pick up in the fourth quarter and with it nickel prices should see some further upside.

Stainless producers are engaged in cost reduction across their European operations, shaken by debt worries and slow growth. Acerinox is looking to cut US$170m a year from its global operations, for which read mostly European operations yet at the same time is investing twice as much in new production capacity in Malaysia. Their Bahru plant is looking to add 1m tons of capacity by 2020, starting with 240,000 tons during the first quarter of next year. Likewise, Outokumpu is focused on growth in India, the Middle East and South Africa rather than at home in Europe. Asian demand is where the growth is coming from and expectations of increased Asian demand coupled with an admittedly short term squeeze on supplies is what is driving nickel prices. It is also driving a draw down in nickel stockpiles at the London Metal Exchange, according to the Wall Street Journal, by 30% since February.

Lagging the rise in demand from stainless producers in Asia, nickel producers have been playing catch up bringing shelved mine and treatment facilities on stream delayed by the financial crisis. Vale SA expects to return to full production by the end of the month at its nickel mine in Sudbury, Ontario, following a prolonged strike this year and last. The Brazilian miner also aims to start production at a mine in New Caledonia by the end of this year, while First Quantum Minerals Ltd. says it has started hiring for a mine in Australia. Together, those two mines could add close to 100,000 metric tons to global production, equal to roughly 7% of expected 2010 demand. The swing producers in nickel supply have been Chinese domestic nickel pig iron producers but at current prices they will be slow to start up new production, as it is only marginally profitable at current prices. But with Chinese consumption predicted to continue to rise as stainless, alloys and plating use continues to grow it could be well into next year before the nickel market moves back into significant surplus again. For consumers looking to cover short term needs now seems like a good time to be covering for the next six months. Further out, increased supply should cap further price rises and even depress prices back below $20,000 per ton later in the year.

–Stuart Burns

A Reuters Insider discussion this week included Reuters columnist Andy Homes and Macquerie Bank’s Jim Lennon covering the nickel market and is available for view as a video clip on the Reuters website. The discussion made interesting listening for anyone involved in the nickel market and looking to get a handle on where prices are going during the second half of this year and next.

The discussion was opened with the observation that nickel stocks had been trending lower since the beginning of the year but that in the last four days stocks had increased again and the question was is this the start of a new trend and will it signal a period of weakness in prices? Nickel stocks have dropped by 43k tons this year driven by a static supply market and a massive increase in demand as stainless production has surged 44% by volume. The panelists concluded the uptick in headline stocks is a seasonal development as nickel stocks are replenished with spring production deliveries from Russia. But at the same time, demand is set to soften as the re-stocking surge that had been driving demand comes to an end. The panelists estimated the market to be in the region of 80,000 tons in deficit, a phenomenal amount in comparison to the overall nickel market, equivalent to a one million ton deficit in the copper market.

The question was posed, will the market remain in deficit or will idled capacity such as Vale’s Sudbury and new projects outlined in the table below and shortly due to come on stream push the market into surplus?

Jim Lennon observed that if they all came on stream at the same time they certainly would push the market into surplus but that in reality some will be delayed so the timescale will be extended over several years. Lennon predicted that second half demand would be weaker and result in a 15% cut in production in the third quarter and a flat fourth quarter. Nevertheless the market would remain in deficit Lennon said as Chinese imports would pick up again following a fall from 186,000 tons in the first half of 2009 to 97,000 tons in the same period in 2010.

Most important, when asked to give a prediction on prices Lennon said he believed the market was supported by Chinese Nickel Pig Iron production which had risen from 50,000 tons in 2009 to 200,000 tons in Q1 of this year. However it is very price sensitive and if prices dropped to $18,000, 75% of that NPI capacity would be idled maintaining a market deficit. At the other end of the scale the market topside he saw at $22,000 per ton and the most likely range at $20,000 to $22,000 per ton through to the end of 2011. That compares favorably with the Reuters poll of base commodities analysts last month that, averaged out put nickel at $20,300 per ton by the end of this year and $21,000 per ton by the end of 2011.

–Stuart Burns

ArcelorMittal is said to be looking to exit the stainless steel business within 18 months according to a Reuters report. What you didn’t know that Arcelor Mittal was even in stainless steel? Well no you could be forgiven for overlooking their involvement in the stainless market. We traditionally think of the company as a steel producer, and not just any steel producer but the largest by 100% over their nearest rival. But their stainless operations in Europe and Brazil are sizable and therein lies part of the challenge for the company in devising an exit strategy. ArcelorMittal’s stainless business has been valued at some $3.5 billion to $4.0 billion, based on a sector enterprise value with a forecast 2011 EBITDA multiple of 6.5 to 7 times, against about 5 times for plain steel.

The price, close to the market capitalization of global stainless leader Acerinox, may therefore be prohibitive. Neither Finland based Outokumpo nor German Thyssen would likely be able to afford to buy the business or allowed by Brussels regulators to buy Arcelor’s stainless business because of the dominant position it would give the merged operation. In fact, a buy out is unlikely for another reason the article says, Europe is suffering from over capacity in stainless. Competitors are more likely to hope rationalization takes place before the more choice parts for the group come up for sale.

Perversely after three years of declines, the stainless market has come back strongly and although falling nickel prices have brought supply chain re-stocking to a halt, declining LME nickel inventories suggest demand is continuing at a reasonable rate. However high inventories in China coupled with the usual seasonal slow down are causing concern in the nickel market. While demand is forecast to continue to rise in 2011 it will be at half the rate of recovery we have seen in 2010 according to HSBC. Stainless prices on the other hand are expected to remain weak and possibly fall further. They have already come off since April both in the US and China, as demand for steel products generally has softened and nickel prices have fallen reducing stainless makers costs.

Source: MetalMiner IndX(SM)

In China, worries are setting in about inventory levels particularly if government inspired cooling reduces stainless demand. Price have come off gradually since the spring as this graph from the MetalMiner IndX shows. The recent pick up is more a result of a 10% jump in nickel prices as this LME graph shows.

Arcelor’s frustrations with their stainless business though are less to do with low prices and more to do with a failure to fully integrate their operations in Europe and Brazil into a cohesive whole. The division has struggled in the face of industry over capacity, at least in OECD markets, and that isn’t about to improve anytime soon, for Arcelor or any of it’s competitors.

–Stuart Burns

A more graphic illustration of the rise of China’s steel makers would be hard to find than Metal Bulletin’s latest ranking of global steel makers. In an article this week the somewhat delayed list of steel producers is discussed with some explanation of why some have moved up and some have moved down. The full list of top 108 steel producers is available here. The dividing line is drawn at 2 million tons per annum of production. Interestingly some well established almost household names have dropped off the list as they now produce less than 2 million tons. Tokyo Steel of Japan, Acerinox of Spain, Rauterruuki of Finland, Saarstahl of Germany and Vallourec of France are joined by Commercial Metals from the US.

Arguably 2009 was such a horrible and let’s be honest distorted year for steel makers that the new rankings may not be totally representative of a new world order.

The top ten are as follows and their previous rankings illustrate the extent to which rising demand in China and falling demand in the west have reshaped the order of things.

As demand slowly comes back it could be expected these western mills will reassert their previous dominance in the top tier but unless China goes through a major retrenchment the situation will likely prove to be the same in 2010 and become even more pronounced in 2011. While western world production recovers, China’s production has continued accelerating away. Even if all those in the top ten were to produce no more in 2010 than they produced in 2009 and all those from number 11 downwards were to recover to 2008 levels the only company that would make it back into the top ten would be US Steel, and then it would be to replace Tata at number 10.

Some of the Chinese firms re-positioning has been due to mergers rather than outright capacity expansion. Shandong for example is a whole new steel company. As the article explains the group was only incorporated in March 2008 when Jinan Steel and Laiwu Steel, two major mills in eastern China’s Shandong province, were merged. This is part of China’s long term aim of controlling capacity, environmental standards and market discipline by merging smaller steel makers into larger national champions, and is expected to continue.

MB stated early on in the article that it had been a major challenge to collate the data, which explains why it has taken until nearly the middle of the following year to publish it. While the number one position for ArcelorMittal is not in doubt for some years even following the 30 million ton capacity cut forced on the company by market conditions in 2009, next year is likely to see more Chinese firms in the top ten.

–Stuart Burns

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As always, there is a lot of conflicting data coming out of China. Sorting what is relevant and what is not can be a challenging process.   Let’s face it: China has been the main story in the metals markets for the last few years. Demand up means prices up, demand down means prices fall. But short term price movements can be misleading, sometimes showing an early sign of a longer term trend and sometimes merely reflecting a temporary change in activity. Import and export volumes have been a metric much on the radar of China watchers keen to gauge how strongly China’s economy is really performing and worried that a significant rise in imports will drive prices higher or a surge in exports will be taken as a cooling of the economy and hence drive global prices lower.

Macquarie released a recent report covered in Mineweb which looks at import/export volumes and interprets a slowing in imports as a relatively positive development in terms of price stability. The report suggests that imports of commodities are falling as more material is being sourced from domestic sources and there is also an element of de-stocking going on in the domestic market. The reduction in import volumes is happening at the same time that global demand is recovering so net demand levels are not significantly different, supporting prices current sovereign debt crisis sell-off omitting. The report says the latest production and trade data for April 2010 confirms the trend of a slowing in China’s net imports of commodities. This reflects an ongoing de-stocking in most Chinese commodities the report says, something that started in 3Q09, and also surging domestic production of commodities as imports are replaced with domestic production. Usually a statement such as net imports are falling and exports are rising is a sign that domestic demand is cooling. China was a net importer of aluminum, lead and steel over the first four months of 2009 but now it is a rising net exporter. China’s exports of flat steel products are back at peak levels, driven by a 75 percent month on month increase in hot rolled coil (HRC) exports in April. In zinc, nickel and tin, China’s net imports of refined metal have collapsed from a year earlier.

So, can we use some other measure to gauge the underlying strength of China’s manufacturing activity and better understand if this is truly a cooling of demand, or as the report suggests, a rise in domestic production? Well, one long-time measure is electricity generation.   An investors’ report by Standard Bank said electricity consumption is highly correlated to manufacturing and industrial demand. These sectors tend to be the largest consumers of electricity ” especially in emerging market economies like China, where the primary and secondary economies contribute significantly to GDP. In China, electricity production grew at an average annual rate of 14.3 percent from 2004 to 2007. At the same time, the Chinese economy grew by an average 10.5 percent a year. China’s electricity demand growth outpaced GDP growth by around one-third in each year.

Source: Standard Bank

As this graph courtesy of Standard Bank shows, electricity demand has followed the same seasonal trends in recent years, but at progressively higher levels of consumption as GDP has increased. The February dip is Chinese New Year, but the interesting line is the second half of 2008 when consumption collapsed along with industrial activity all over the world. However, since July of last year, electricity generation in China has risen substantially ” well above levels seen in 2008. Electricity production ended 2009 at an all-time high. This pattern is consistent with China’s GDP data in 2009. Indications are that production during the five months of 2010 was also strong, although there was a small downturn in electricity generation in April (this could be seen as a seasonal drop similar to previous years).

Macquerie partially attributed China’s switch from imports to exports as a sign of supply chain de-stocking. Once complete, the strong electricity generation figures suggest demand could pick up again later in the year supporting prices in late 2010/early 2011.

–Stuart Burns

After several years of talking about curtailing excess capacity, it would appear the Chinese authorities are finally getting serious about it. The Ministry of Industry and Information Technology said on Thursday of last week.

China has said it will close a total of 300,000 tons of copper smelting capacity, 600,000 tons of lead and zinc capacity, 800,000 tons of aluminum capacity and millions of tons of steel capacity under a three-year plan intended to reduce overcapacity and cut down pollution. China has pledged to cut the amount of carbon dioxide produced from each unit of economic growth by 40-45% by 2020, compared with the 2005 level. Closing old excess capacity serves that purpose at the same time as bringing capacity in line with demand for many metals. This year, Beijing’s target is to shut down outdated capacity of 339,000 tons of aluminum, 117,000 tons of copper smelting, 113,000 tons of zinc and 243,000 tons of lead, according to a Reuters report in ChinaMining.

For some metals the numbers are significant. Although 339,000 tons of aluminum doesn’t make much of a dent on an estimated 20m tons of capacity it could reduce what is clearly a state of over production at the moment. Of more profound impact could be lead. A reduction of 243,000 tons of capacity from a market that globally is in surplus by just 168,000 tons per year according to the ILZSG quoted in Reuters would have a significant impact on China’s demands on global supplies.

The devil will be in the detail however as many issues in the report remain opaque. A Reuters report states Chalco (Aluminum Corp of China) has asked Beijing for approval to add 250,000 tons of primary capacity at its Pingguo plant in Guangxi currently producing 140,000 tons. Whether the authorities will give their approval is uncertain however as it flies in the face of recent announcements that no new capacity is to be added for three years. Smelters have however been given permission to buy power directly from generators to cut costs and there are rumors that semi’s producers could see VAT rebates increased on exports increased to the full 17%, which would be consistent with the authorities attempts to support value add production but suppress further investment in primary production across a range of metals products.

It would appear the authorities have been buying metals for stock again, as a continuation of last year’s dramatic intervention by the State Reserves Bureau. A spokesman for the state owned research group Antaike said the three year reserve plan was to buy one million tons of aluminum, 400,000 tons of copper and 400,000 tons of lead and zinc from domestic smelters. Apparently the State Reserves Bureau has already bought 590,000 tons of aluminum and 159,000 tons of zinc since December. At least some of China’s vociferous appetite for metals is not going into consumption but into state stocks. Unlike speculative trade stocks there is no danger these will come back out into the market if prices turn or demand falters but it does mislead superficial impressions of continued high consumption rates real consumption is clearly not quite as strong as it appears.

No wonder the authorities are keen to cut excess capacity and drive some consolidation into what has been a fragmented and undisciplined domestic market before cooling growth rates meet yet higher levels of over capacity and results in a general price collapse.

–Stuart Burns

We hear a lot about how China has become the largest car producer in the world, we hear some cheering good news about the strength of Ford’s comeback and of how GM is back in profit (having left most of their debt and other obligations behind it must be said), we even hear some slightly better news about Europe’s struggling car industry helped by stimulus measures but now not looking quite so rosy as they come to an end. What we have not heard so much about is Brazil, soon to be the forth largest car and light vehicle market in the world after China, the US and Japan, by overtaking Germany. As with China and the US, domestic growth is phenomenal but the re-ordering of rankings has as much to do with contraction in the mature market as it does growth in the emerging market.

According to this article in the FT, PwC expects Germany’s light vehicle market to decline by about 20% this year to 3.18m from just under 4m last year, and Brazil’s to grow by about 8% to 3.3m. Growth figures going forward vary between 5 and 8% but most expect growth to continue for the next five years at least fueled by the resource rich countries rising middle class. Absolute numbers are only part of the story though. Brazil’s car market is dominated by global players, Fiat, VW, GM and Ford in that order produce 80% of the cars produced and sold in Brazil. Protected by a whopping 35% import duty they make fat profits. Reflecting on the Brazilian unit’s copious earnings at a presentation in Turin last month, Sergio Marchionne, Fiat’s chief executive, joked that “it makes you wonder what we’re doing in Europe. Indeed it does, Fiat losses money on its core car-making business in Europe but made $863m last year in Brazil. GM doesn’t report separate figures but says it is “printing money in Brazil according to this FT article. Even Ford, the smallest of the big four made $765m last year in South America, the bulk of it in Brazil.

Top position though goes to Fiat. They have been in the market for 35 years. They benefit from slightly lower wage costs because their plant is situated at Betim in Minas Gerais further north than the others around Sao Paulo but most of all Fiat excels at making small cars which is what Brazil has been all about. Fiat’s car plant is not just the Italian car-maker’s largest but one of the busiest in the world today. The facility consumes 750 tons of steel daily, works around the clock on three shifts, and produces a car every 20 seconds, or more than 3,000 a day.

Fiat recently opened an eighth factory gate at the plant to ease the flow of supplies for the 12 models it makes there, which includes the Uno and Punto small cars and the Strada, a small pick-up truck developed in Brazil. The plant produced 722,400 cars last year, second only to Volkswagen’s huge factory in its hometown of Wolfsburg, Germany, which made 740,000 vehicles in 2009.

Increasingly Ford, GM and a clutch of European majors are making more money and importantly investing more money in emerging markets than they are at home. They must all wonder, like Sergio Marchionne, what is the point of manufacturing at home?

–Stuart Burns

As we said back at the beginning of March in a MetalMiner article, ferrochrome prices are being squeezed by a tight supply market limited by power shortages in South Africa, the largest producer. Even though there have been and will continue to be substantial re-starts around the world, HSBC estimates a 26 percent increase in capacity. Growing demand from the stainless steel industry is keeping pace and holds out the possibility of a market deficit next year if there are any further problems in South African power supply. The main outlet for ferrochrome is in stainless steel production and after three years of declining production and idling of mill capacity the market has now picked up across all geographic regions. A Nippon Steel & Sumikin Stainless (NSSC) official is quoted in a Reuters article as saying the European stainless industry would be back on full capacity through June of this year. NSSC is Japan’s biggest stainless steel maker. Stainless production is highly cyclical and is coming back strongly from a much reduced 2009 base over the coming year. HSBC is predicting a 9 percent year-over-year increase in ferrochrome production growth in 2010 and 6 percent in 2011 as a result of running at a deficit last year as well as robust stainless steel industry demand this year.

After rising in Q2 by 35c/lb from the previous quarter to $1.44 per lb, at their quarterly ferrochrome price fixing this month, NSCC say their primary concern was keeping a stable source of supply suggesting they too see supply constraints as an issue going forward. The European benchmark price for ferrochrome in the second quarter has increased to $1.36 per lb. This represents a 35 percent increase on the price of $1.01 per lb set in the January to March period. The benchmark was at $1.03 in the fourth quarter of 2009 and 89 cents in the third quarter, according to a Telegraph investor report.

All major producing countries are expected to show significant increases in HC ferrochrome production this year with the exception of China. HSBC is expecting South Africa to jump from 2,317,000 tons to 3,389,000 tons and Kazakhstan to jump from 890,000 tons to 1,230,000 tons, but China to fall from 1,306,000 tons to 1,000,000 tons.

Unless power worries in South Africa re-occur, we would expect this latest round of price increases to probably establish a new level for the rest of the year. At these levels, the current supply market situation is fairly well factored in along with tight but balanced stainless demand for 2010. But higher raw material costs will be reflected in stainless premiums slowing the migration from austenitic to ferritic grades and power supply issues remain a risk to the upside for prices later this year.

–Stuart Burns

Managing a multi-national like ArcelorMittal certainly has its challenges, we tend to use that phrase multi-national rather loosely nowadays to label any firm with operations overseas but strictly speaking it is a firm that has subsidiaries in two or more countries. It is in part a measure of complexity and it doesn’t get much more complex than ArcelorMittal listed in New York, Amsterdam, Paris, Brussels, Luxembourg and Spain with operations in 60 countries and 300,000 employees. As demand and prices slumped in late 2008/early 2009 the group saw revenues nearly halve to $65.1bn in 2009 from $124.9bn in 2008. Net income slumped in 2009 from $9.39bn in 2008 to just $118m and Lakshmi Mittal said when ArcelorMittal’s latest results were published that 2010 will be “challenging”. The firm sees the prices of raw materials increasing this year iron ore, coal and energy prices. In an interview with the Telegraph newspaper Lakshmi Mittal is quoted as saying, “We are concerned about this cost increase. ArcelorMittal has a strategy to invest more on vertical integration over the medium term. That means we should be more self-sufficient on our own captive supplies. We are making some progress in iron ore but we are not making much progress on coal self-sufficiency. Today, we’re about 50 to 60% self-sufficient in iron ore but for coal it is only about 15 to 20%. The group clearly needs more vertical integration, even some of those it thought secure like its Kumba reserves in South Africa are now the subject of a legal challenge. So on the supply side the group is looking to secure raw material supplies.

On the demand side stagnant or slow growth in mature markets such as Europe or North America where AM has much of its capacity will not deliver the growth the firm needs to meet shareholder expectations. The growth is coming from emerging economies such as China, India, Brazil and the Middle East. So although, on the one hand, battling dramatically rising raw material costs that threaten to push the group into the red the firm is simultaneously positioning itself to invest in these growing markets with varying degrees of success. In Brazil it is already the country’s largest steel maker and wants to construct further steel plants. In India AM has experienced similar problems to other foreign owned and even some domestic steel mills in gaining both mining and development rights to the large tracks of land necessary for mines and plant construction but the firm now seems confident that one or more of its current applications will move forward in Q2. That’s just as well because Mittal was clear in a recent interview that he saw India as a major development opportunity for the group, citing a strong middle class, the need for and intent to develop extensive infrastructure investment and a young demographic as reasons why India would be a very important market, not just for steel but for all products in the future.

China of course dwarfs even India but as Mittal is quoted as saying, “There are thousands of steel companies in China, producing anything from 50,000 to 5m tons a year. China wants to have the top 10 companies producing 50% of China’s volumes. I hope that will happen soon because it will create a system for the steel industry. But they don’t allow foreign companies to hold majority shares yet.” – ArcelorMittal is a minority shareholder with stakes of less than 35% in two Chinese steel companies but is currently not permitted to take majority control of local production, which must be a frustrating position for the world’s largest steel maker in the world’s largest steel market.

–Stuart Burns

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