Friday , December 6 2019
Home / Tag Archives: steel mills

Tag Archives: steel mills

China’s steel mills concerned by Beijing’s focus on private sector

When the current Chinese leadership took office in 2013, there was much talk about China’s economy becoming more market-driven, entrepreneurial and less reliant on the state. But the country appears to have been moving in the opposite direction in recent years and now Beijing seems to be trying to exert greater control on the country’s private sector. Like most of China’s economy, privately-owned steel producers do not enjoy the same benefits as their state-owned rivals. One benefit they do...

Read More »

China’s white goods sector tipped to weaken

Steel demand from the white goods sector benefited Chinese mills last year, but the effect of a weaker housing market is set to adversely impact demand this year. China’s production of white goods – air conditioners, washing machines, freezers, refrigerators and televisions – totaled 532 million mt in 2017, up 11% year on year, according to data from the country’s National Bureau of Statistics. This growth rate was the highest since 2012. However, several market participants...

Read More »

India overcomes policy hurdles to strengthen steel sector in 2018-19

Just over a year ago, delegates flying into Mumbai to attend the S&P Global Platts Steel Markets Asia conference were confronted by enormous queues at the sole ATM near the terminal exit gates. “Surely there are other ATMs in Mumbai,” your correspondent thought. What no one realized at the time was that we had stumbled upon India’s extraordinary demonetization experiment. It resulted in some 86% of cash liquidity in the form of certain Rupee notes being taken out of circulation in a bid...

Read More »

The iron ore contango: Why now?

The iron ore forward curve has made history in November by recording the longest period of contango* in its brief existence. On November 1, Platts assessed The Steel Index 62% Fe CFR China swaps in contango from the December strip out to Q2 2018, which has been sustained until now. Unlike many bulk commodities in recent years, iron ore’s forward curve has remained stubbornly backwardated, with prices further down the curve being lower than those at the prompt. This has puzzled many market...

Read More »

Pig iron, scrap, steel trade hit by electrode shortage

The steel industry’s current hot topic, tight electrode supply and higher pricing, threatens to cut steel output and raise mill costs. This is leading traders to debate the impact across various steel mills and applications. A cut in steel output due to shortages of the raw material is a real fear, while higher costs are already being reflected in spot electrode pricing, up over tenfold in some cases. A beneficiary may be merchant pig iron, and direct-reduced iron/hot-briquetted iron,...

Read More »

Steel industry looks to jump-start Trump trade engine

Steelworkers from around the country descended on Washington this week to ask their legislators one thing: What’s happening with the Trump Administration’s Section 232 investigation? As a candidate, President Donald Trump talked tough on trade and told blue collar voters that he would bring back the steel jobs that left their towns. And, early on his presidency, it seemed like steel would be a focus. In his first week in office he signed a series of executive memorandums to revive...

Read More »

‘September US scrap collapses to sideways’: How can this be?

In 1968 there was an American college football game between two Ivy League schools, Harvard and Yale. Harvard, an underdog entering the game, scored 16 points in the final 42 seconds to miraculously tie Yale 29-29. The following day, the Harvard Crimson student newspaper ran the now famous headline “Harvard Beats Yale 29-29.” I could not help but recall the game and the headline as I surveyed the scene around the hotel lobby at the recent annual ISRI Commodities Roundtable Forum...

Read More »

Are Commerce actions showing Trump’s hand on trade deals?

Recent trade case announcements by the US Department of Commerce may offer clues as to how the Trump administration will handle the Section 232 investigation, which is looking into steel imports’ impact on national security. Take the ongoing antidumping and countervailing duty investigation into Canadian softwood lumber launched by Commerce on December 16, 2016. At the time of the announcement, the petitioners alleged dumping margins of roughly 20%-53% on Canadian lumber imports....

Read More »

The waiting is the hardest part for US steel markets

The American steel industry is desperately in need of relief, but it’s not what you think. We have heard a lot about the possibility of import restrictions stemming from the government’s ongoing Section 232 investigation — that is the big issue. But the smaller, more pressing matter right now is the announcement of that relief, or lack thereof. American steel markets are seemingly at a standstill because Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross has suggested on several occasions that while...

Read More »

European mill consolidation concerns independent stockists, distributors

Mergers and acquisitions in European steelmaking could have important consequences downstream, with independent service centers increasingly nervous they will be squeezed out of the market. Investment bank Jefferies suggests ArcelorMittal will account for 40% of European coil market supply once it completes its acquisition of Italian producer Ilva, while a merged Tata/ThyssenKrupp would have a share of around a quarter. This increase in consolidation should be good for the mills and their...

Read More »