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Nieuws Steel Business Briefing

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Mills warned to keep supply tight or risk price gains
Supply and demand are finally coming into balance on most products after an extended period of destocking and reduced production. But if mills ramp up output too much they will trample the fragile green-shoots, UK stockists tell Steel Business Briefing.

Most product prices seem to have bottomed recently as stockists and distributors have filled holes in their inventories, especially on strip where shortages are most apparent, but this does not give mills carte blanche to raise output, stockists say. “The danger is that mills will kill it (the current price rise) before it gets going,” one flat product supplier says. “It’s not real demand that is leading to this situation, it’s restocking.”
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TODAY'S TOP SBB HEADLINES
CIS pig iron export market continues to strengthen
US and EU companies expect higher prices: The Steel Index
N. European coil prices set to rise slowly
Demand fundamentals remain weak - WSR
Rising flat products propel slab import prices in E. Asia
ArcelorMittal delaying $600m Mexico bar mill

Europe
Corus seen going for €30/t price rise for Q4 deliveries
Production cuts at Greek mills still at least 30-40%
Erdemir increases extras on strip products by $10/t
Turkish bar exports fell in June
GSW forsees wire rod price rise for September
Corus axing production jobs at Scunthorpe
Evraz raises around $900m in new capital
Mills warned to keep supply tight or risk price gains
Southern Europe expects some recovery after the summer
MPs urge UK government to cut energy cost for steelworks

Asia
Pakistan Steel raises billet price, second time this month
Baosteel forecast to raise HRC prices for August
China lifts rail output on strong sector investment
China daily steel output highest for twelve months
YK Steel to build new melting, rolling facilities in Busan
Pakistan flat steel supply short, prices rise
Chinese H-beam prices strengthen on mill hikes
India rules out hike in steel import duties
Sail cuts longs prices, keeps flats unchanged
CSC, Posco to lift HRC, CRC export prices to Japan

North America
AK Steel announces price increases for US sheet products
US wide flange beam prices likely to rise for August
With surcharge settled, August US plate prices still unclear
July shaping up to be slow for US industry

Latin America
Brazilian wire rod demand improving
CSN increases shipments to US, Portuguese subsidiaries

Middle East & Africa
Iran seeks new funding for 8m t/y semis projects

Scrap & Raw Materials
US Steel Canada to idle Lake Erie coke ovens
Brazilian iron ore shipment to China rescheduled
Vetorial looks to capitalize on increase in pig iron prices
Turkish pig iron imports started to recover in May
China probes mills as part of Rio Tinto 'espionage' case
Shanxi raises coke reference price for July
Bloom Lake iron ore mine - clarification
Chinese FeSi prices inch higher, EMM, FeMn, SiMn quiet
BHPB-Rio talks could slow rail/port access for junior miners
Iron ore stockpiles slightly increase at Chinese ports
Higher domestic prices boost China FeCr import prices
Japanese scrap export prices continue rising

Stainless steel & Ferro-alloys
Allegheny projecting Q2 profit of $3m
NSSC agrees 26% FeCr price rise with Xstrata-Merafe
Asian stainless prices hold steady

Tubes & Pipes
Russia's TMK may build pipe mill in Africa
Turkish pipemakers struggle to cover higher strip costs
Global oil/gas drill rig numbers remain at a low level
China’s welded pipe prices steady
Korean SAW pipe maker plans new 70,000 t/y mill
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EU duties on Chinese seamless pipe to be scrapped?
Europe’s carbon tube sector has expressed surprise at a report published by Reuters last Friday (10 July) that the European Commission is to propose terminating anti-dumping duties on Chinese seamless pipe. Provisional duties of 15-24.1% were imposed in April.

The report indicated that trade officials from the 27 EU countries would vote on the proposed dropping of the duties later this month. But well informed sources within the European tube industry think it more likely that the duties will be confirmed and even increased.
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TODAY'S TOP SBB HEADLINES
Gerdau Ameristeel raising wire rod prices $40-60/s.ton
CIS billet export market is cooling down
Some contract sheet prices poised to rise $90 in US market
SE Asian importers are wary in firm billet market
Export demand boosts N. European scrap prices for July

Europe
EU price hikes to bring some revenues for steelmakers
Plate destocking in Germany remains slow
Saudi buying pushes Turkish billet exports up
ArcelorMittal Magona sees rising orders for galv
Turkish strip product exports increase by 60% in June 2009
Medium sections prices drop, future direction confused
Non-mesh rod demand improves a little in short term
Turkish domestic rebar prices fall on slow export demand
UK fabricator goes into administration
Mechel’s steel division reduced losses in Q1

Asia
Indonesia starts dumping probe into Chinese beams
Pakistan gets coil in scrap containers, to avoid import duty
Laigang plans to consolidate assets
Hebei Iron & Steel lifts rebar and wire rod prices
China domestic CRC prices rise on stronger sentiment
Guangdong closed 53 steelworks so far this year
China’s daily steel exports rebound in June
Daehan Steel to build rebar processing plant
Laigang awarded prize for energy conservation

North America
Gerdau Ameristeel raising rebar prices
US ITC green lights 2 downstream trade cases against China
Gerdau Ameristeel hikes August WF beam prices
LME plans to introduce N. American contract within 5 years
US discrete, coiled plate imports off dramatically
Smaller GM re-emerges with eye on global market

Latin America
Chile's Huachipato resumes output at blast furnace No 1

Scrap & Raw Materials
ArcelorMittal may sell Russian steam coal mine
Argentina bans scrap exports for six months
Brazil's Mhag prepares to resume output, expansion plans
Iron ore reference prices move higher, says The Steel Index
Mechel's mining arm hit by falling demand in Q1
Indian mills await Japanese, Posco ore settlements
Tight supply pushes up China pig iron prices
Rio official accused of bribing steel mills for information
No deal on Elegest coal: Mitsui
Italian pig iron & ferro-alloys market quiet in July
Turkish mills cut scrap buying prices twice last week

Stainless steel & Ferro-alloys
Nisshin stepping up stainless output
Jacquet Metals hopes for firmer stainless plate price in H2

Tubes & Pipes
EU duties on Chinese seamless pipe to be scrapped?
Turkish pipe exports decline despite MENA buying
Korea welcomes foreign bidders for distressed pipe
Russia’s TMK to restructure eurobond debt
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WORLD STEEL PRODUCTION FORECAST TO SLIP BY 12 PERCENT THIS YEAR

www.meps.co.uk/article-key-out-q2-09.htm

MEPS - Global Crude Steel Production Estimate (Million tonnes)

Region 2008 2009(f)
EU 27 198.0 141.5
Other Europe 31.8 28.6
C.I.S 114.1 93.0
NAFTA 124.5 82.7
South America 47.5 36.3
Africa 17.1 15.5
Middle East 16.6 18.2
China 500.5 516.0
Japan 118.7 88.0
Other Asia 148.8 139.5
Oceania 8.4 5.7
Total (rounded) 1326.1 1165.0
Source: MEPS - World Steel Outlook

MEPS is forecasting total world steel manufacturing in 2009 at 1165 million tonnes. This equates to a decrease of 12 percent on the previous year’s result. There are a number of positive signs in the market. Steel stock levels at both the distributors and mills are extremely low. The savage cuts in steel output over the past nine months have partly rebalanced supply and demand by eliminating overblown inventories in the supply chain. Moreover, steel consumers, including OEM’s, building and construction companies and distributors were also carrying substantial stocks of their goods and raw materials in the boom market conditions.

There are indications of a pick up in automotive production across the world - fuelled by scrappage schemes and tax incentives. Construction demand appears to be improving in China and some emerging nations. Tax incentives to purchase white goods are also being signalled in several countries. These should lead to inventory rebuilding and higher real consumption of steel. Construction activity is, however, slow to revive at the moment (except in China and a few Asian nations), despite government investment in infrastructure projects. The impact on steel demand from the building segment will take more time to come to fruition, particularly in the industrialised nations.

MEPS foresees blastfurnace iron production in 2009 at 835 million tonnes - a reduction of 91.5 million tonnes compared to 2008. Higher vehicle manufacturing should assist in improving activity at the blastfurnace mills in the second half of this year. A 6.4 percent decrease is forecast for direct reduced iron output in 2009. This smaller decrease compared to steel is due to stronger market conditions prevailing in many of the countries employing this iron making process.

Quarterly crude steel production in the EU-27 member states fell to around 30.5 million tonnes during the first half of this year - a decrease of approximately 43/45 percent. There are indications that mill order intake is now increasing. Some producers are starting up previously closed plants, particularly to produce material for the automotive sector. Steel buyers are starting to reorder because inventories have dropped to very low levels. However, they remain cautious about building up stocks to anywhere near pre crisis levels.

After a difficult start to the year, iron and steel production in non EU Western Europe has started to recover. As a consequence, we have made a small upward revision to our earlier forecast for steel output in 2009 - mainly as a result of improvements in Turkish mill activity.

We have uprated our forecast for CIS crude steel production in 2009 to 93 million tonnes. This represents a decline of 18.6 percent on the previous year’s figure. Many steel mills across the region are selling semi-finished products in export markets because of the favorable currency exchange rates compared to most other countries of the world.

The impact of the global economic crisis has been felt most acutely in the NAFTA region. Weak market conditions have prompted us to downgrade our previous forecast for crude steel production to just below 83 million tonnes. This represents a decrease of one third on the 2008 figure. A similar reduction is predicted for blastfurnace iron production. Steel demand is flat in all the major steel producing nations in the region. However, we believe that the worst is now past and steel output will begin to turn up in the second half of the year.

South American steel production dropped significantly in the first quarter of this year. Since then steady improvements have been made but a pick up in economic conditions across the region has been slow to take off. We now expect an 11 million tonne (23.5 percent), year on year, decline in supply from local mills in 2009.

We predict that African steel output in 2009 will decrease by approximately 10 percent compared to the prior year. Some North African markets are picking up - particularly for residential building. This should lead to a better second half performance.

Iron and steel production in the Middle East is forecast to rise in 2009, against the trend in most other parts of the world. Ironically, construction demand has fallen across most of the region but new capacity has come on stream and output is being ramped up at existing units.

Total Asian iron production is forecast to decline by 2 percent in 2009, year on year. Steel output is expected to be 3 percent lower. A revival in construction in many parts of the region is underway. Government stimulus measures have also assisted in maintaining a reasonable level of demand in these difficult global economic conditions.

Source: MEPS - World Steel Outlook

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Medium-low demand, pricing pressures to stay: Marcegaglia
The steel market through 2018 will revert to over-capacity, global demand will stay medium-low, prices will be under pressure and volatility will be the norm, Italian tube, strip and plate producer Antonio Marcegaglia forecasts in a report sent to Steel Business Briefing.

The market will be ruled by “smart buyers” and industry results performance will be back to normality, as opposed to the extraordinary performances, especially of some Western companies, in 2000-2007, he says.
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TODAY'S TOP SBB HEADLINES
OECD leading indicators point to possible recovery
Brazil's HRC export offers above US$500/t fob, traders say
US capacity utilization breaks 50% for first time since '08
Scrap suppliers push for price gains in east Asia
Italian steel industry expects recovery in 2011
Chinese HRC export prices rise quickly

Europe
Turkish domestic coil price rises confirmed: The Steel Index
Mechel refinances debts with longer-term loans
MMK Atakas nears start-up of Turkish service centre
Medium-low demand, pricing pressures to stay: Marcegaglia
German suppliers still concerned about credit insurers
ArcelorMittal adds exec post to European flats business
S. European engineering steel orders improve
Italian industrial vehicle sales forecast to halve in 2009
Turkish strip users ask for cut in import duty
Spanish construction activity to drop 10% in 2009

Asia
Jigang's June profit the first this year
Posco's exports jump 48%
Baosteel raises strip product prices for August
Shagang lifts rebar and wire rod price
China real estate sector improving
Filipino galvanizers want access to duty-free coil imports

North America
Direction of US scrap market unclear, sources say
Keystone Steel & Wire increasing US wire rod $60/s.ton
Tubemaker RathGibson files for bankruptcy protection
Republic raising US August wire rod prices
Mexico's auto sector hit hard by economic downturn
Ryerson completes divestiture of Tata Ryerson in India
MultiServ workers locked out at ArcelorMittal Dofasco
ADF Group lands $66.2m NA infrastructure contract
Kentucky Electric's fiscal Q3 revenue falls 62% y-o-y
Second quarter US sheet imports from Australia, China fall
Asian, Russian exports to US down significantly

Latin America
ArcelorMittal Tubarão lifts production, as exports rise
Value of Colombian iron/steel imports down 44% in May
Brazil's Usiminas could relight BF No 2 by late July

Middle East & Africa
Turkish rebar export market is slow
Shareholders tell Mobarakeh Steel to focus on bottom line

Scrap & Raw Materials
USW striking Sudbury nickel mine, Voisey's Bay next
Strike stops production at Shougang Hierro Perú
Mexico's Autlán forecasts 60% drop in tons sold
Ferro-chrome orders are improving, says Hernic
Turkish mills hold off from scrap imports
China’s coke exports plummet 97%
Tokyo Steel lifts most scrap prices
Explosion kills eight at Hebei Steel iron ore mine
Indian pig iron export tenders close at higher prices
Traders say Vale building inventories at Chinese ports
Kumba Iron Ore profits rise

Stainless steel & Ferro-alloys
NAS hikes stainless rod prices for September 5%-9%
European stainless bar market revived by restocking
NSSC lifts austenitic CRC and heavy plate prices
Chinese 430, 200-series prices up
Chinese 304 stainless prices fall with nickel price drop

Tubes & Pipes
V&M Brazil sees opportunities in World Cup tourney
Turkish spiral-weld pipe maker reaches full capacity
BSG’s output boosted by new oil and gas lines in China
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European iron ore buyers may seek more price cuts
Although ArcelorMittal settled iron ore prices with Brazil’s Vale more than three weeks ago, no other settlements for 2009 have been reported in the European market. Some trade sources say market players are awaiting the outcome of the stand-off between China and its principal ore suppliers, and may use this as a guideline as to what kind of price can be achieved in a recession.

Swedish miner LKAB said it is close to agreeing its 2009 iron ore prices, which will be close to the benchmark, a source tells Steel Business Briefing. “Our prices will be similar to the benchmark, which we have tried to support for many years now,” LKAB’s acting president and CEO Lars-Eric Aaro says. This implies year-on-year reductions of 48.3% for pellets and 28.2% for fines.
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TODAY'S TOP SBB HEADLINES
CIS bar/rod export markets are quiet as holidays loom
Some rebar & plate prices a little firmer: The Steel Index
Spot iron ore prices climb as Australian miners stop supply
SBB Special Report: Brazil's HRC makers get margins back
Iron ore reference price hits 2009 high: The Steel Index
Citi analysts 'bullish' on US, global steel markets

Europe
Italian beams/merchant bar prices increase
ArcelorMittal Spain to restart Gijón blast furnace
Turkish local HDG prices fall on more supply
Çemtas asks for help from government to lower costs
Credit insurers in Germany ask for quicker updates
Turkish sections exports fell 22% in the first half
Italian flat import licences fell again in June
Turkish wire rod exports up, revenues fall by half
Special steels distributor IMS cuts purchases
Voestalpine counts on profits, Salzgitter is more moderate
2010 positive for construction steel, says Lucchini exec
Equipment maker Danieli sees few cancellations

Asia
Magang reports profits in June
Chinese domestic CRC prices continue to rise
Ship plate import prices climb strongly in SE Asia
China may eliminate 20 licensed iron ore importers
Chenggang recycles more wastewater
Chinese plate prices rise on domestic, export strength
Chinese billet rises on firming steel prices
Nippon Steel decides to restart Oita blast furnace
Japan’s steel order volume recovers slightly
SMI blows-out world’s longest-running furnace
Tokyo D-Bar to lift rebar prices

North America
US exports up slightly after falling from peak
American sheet exports up slightly
US heavy structurals exports flat, rail on the rise
US DOC rules on Chinese plate circumvention case

Latin America
ArcelorMittal Tubarão to resume No 2 BF in 2010
Colombian construction steel prices continue to decline
Brazilian service center inventories down, sales steady

Middle East & Africa
Saudi Arabian local flat prices rise, demand good
Dubai rebar market is more optimistic, Turkish traders say

Scrap & Raw Materials
Venezuelan HBI industry still operating at reduced rates
Prices and output steady within Brazil's scrap sector
Met coal miner Grande Cache issues improved guidance
European iron ore buyers may seek more price cuts
CoAL takes Vele mining project, awaits approval for go-ahead
Korean mills book scrap at below offer prices
Fortescue production in June quarter better than expected

Stainless steel & Ferro-alloys
Posco-SMSP FeNi furnace targets 25,000 t output
Taiyuan cuts domestic stainless 304, raises 430 prices

Tubes & Pipes
Tenaris cuts output in Italy, plans long summer stoppages
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No impact on steel from Korea-EU free trade pact
The agreement reached on 13 July between Korea and the European Union that wound up protracted discussions on a bilateral free trade agreement (FTA) will have implications for steel-using sectors such as agriculture and automotive but not steel itself.

“Both Korea and the EU have eliminated tariffs on steel since 2004 so the FTA has no affect at all. Nor are there any significant non-tariff barriers in place that might be removed,” an official from the Korea Iron & Steel Association (Kosa) tells Steel Business Briefing.
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TODAY'S TOP SBB HEADLINES
SE Asian HRC import buying slows down
Egyptian buying slows after decrease in rebar price
Demand expectations dip: The Steel Index survey
Steel to have increasing role in construction: Balli Steel
Nucor raises longs and plate prices $40/s.ton
ArcelorMittal to restart third West European blast furnace
Venezuela issues decree nationalizing HBI sector
Cautious confidence in N. European strip market

Europe
UK strip prices continue to firm, Q4 development cloudy
New melt shop in Turkey produces its first crude steel
Turkish merchant bar exports quiet
Mechel restores steel output to ‘pre-crisis’ levels in Q2

Asia
Indian coil producer to build new service centre
Chinese MCC submits proposal for Pakistan Steel expansion
Steel price recovery to last in H2: CISA
Angang to lift flat products prices for August
Chinese tinplate prices rising
Chinese HDG prices rise on domestic, export markets
China Steel raises HRC, CRC export prices by $100+/t
Kyoei to extend summer shutdowns on uncertain demand
No impact on steel from Korea-EU free trade pact
Indian importers take time mulling higher HRC import prices
Korean economy better but steel demand still down

North America
Arbitrator orders AK Steel to keep Ashland mill running
Ameristeel no longer alone with $40 WF beam price move
HRC at $500 a ton raising questions in US market
Worthington loses $14m but sees a bottom in processing
Mexican rebar producer halts operations for one month

Latin America
Venezuelan auto sector shows month-on-month recovery
Argentina's output rises in June as destocking ends
Middle East & Africa
Egyptian strip prices keep rising, buying slackens

Scrap & Raw Materials
Ferrexpo increases pellet production, reduces costs
S. European scrap market quiet approaching August
Turkish scrap imports up 29% in May
LKAB settles iron ore pellet price with Salzgitter
Rio Tinto raises iron ore production; outlook strong
Russia’s Vorkutaugol gets new coking coal reserves
Chinese claims of wide-scale bribery 'exaggerated'
Anshan signs long-term ore contract with Korea's STX

Stainless steel & Ferro-alloys
Weak market hampers Tangshan Stainless plan
Taigang Stainless warns of H1 loss on demand drop
US assesses Villares dumping margin of 4.95%
Special report: European stainless consolidation stalemate

Tubes & Pipes
Some improvement in tube sales seen in Germany
Turkish tube demand falling, prices stable
EU should increase AD on Chinese pipe - Tenaris
Chinese seamless pipe prices firm
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STEEL CAPACITY UTILISATION STARTING TO RISE

www.meps.co.uk/steelcapacitynews.htm

Steel Making Capacity - Yearly average (%)

Region 2008 2009

(Q1-Q2)

EU 27 84.1 52.8
Other Europe 86.8 74.0
C.I.S 83.5 65.0
NAFTA 86.3 50.4
South America 87.0 58.3
Africa 79.2 68.6
Middle East 83.2 87.9
Asia 88.9 85.5
Oceania 90.5 48.9
World Total 87.1 73.6
Source: MEPS - World Steel Outlook

MEPS analysis shows that steel production cuts were at their deepest in the final quarter of 2008. The rate of steel capacity utilisation across the globe fell to 71.6 percent in that period and moved up marginally in the following three months. In the second trimester it is estimated that the world steel capacity utilisation rate increased to approximately 75 percent. MEPS suggests that the worst is over and that steel production will increase steadily over the next five years.

MEPS estimate that, at the end of 2008, the world’s maximum steelmaking production potential (MSPP) was 1518 million tonnes. The figure is based on the highest daily average output in the last three years in all the steel producing nations, converted into annual and quarterly values.

In the final trimester of 2008 and first three months of 2009, global steelmaking output was 71.6 and 71.9 percent, respectively, of total production potential. This shows the seriousness of the economic downturn and the impact on the steel sector.

In the near future, new capacity for steelmaking will be brought on stream in China, India, South America and parts of the Middle East. The net result of these changes is likely to be a further increase in their maximum steelmaking production potential in the near future. However, some plant closures will take place, particularly in Europe and United States. The MSPP for these could reduce over time.

The most serious decline in the Steel Production Utilisation Rate (SPUR) occurred in the European region, with a figure of 53.1 percent calculated for the first trimester of 2009 and just 52.6 percent estimated for the second quarter. Eight of the 27 member states are expected to show reductions of in excess of 50 percent.

The NAFTA region was a major casualty in the collapse of steel production in the current recession - with a Steel Production Utilisation Rate (SPUR) of just above 50 percent in the first half of 2009. The rate in the United States fell to below 50 percent in the same period. The figure for Australia and New Zealand combined turned out to be a similar figure in the second trimester this year.

In contrast, Middle Eastern and Asian steel capacity utilisation in the first half of 2009 was above 85 percent.

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Incentive schemes boosted EU car sales in June
European Union (including European Free Trade Association) passenger car registrations increased modestly in June by 2.4% year-on-year to reach 1,461,859 units, according to ACEA (European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association).

The new registrations were supported by the adoption of fleet renewal schemes in over ten EU member states, ACEA says in a report obtained by Steel Business Briefing. It notes that this is the first market increase in 14 months and comes after a “steep downward trend” starting in May 2008.
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TODAY'S TOP SBB HEADLINES
Ukrainian coils export prices increase some more
Restocking peaks in some areas - WSR
Semis imports by American mills way down
EU steel prices to remain flat in Q3, warns consultancy
BlueScope speeds up blast furnace restart
German mills need to reach 3m t/month to break even
Emirates rebar demand stable; prices rise for structurals
Mexican flats prices increase
SBB Special Report: US puts 'spring' in its trade law steps

Europe
Eisenhüttenstadt keeps larger blast furnace running
ArcelorMittal Poland may ask for state aid & restart furnace
Duferco consolidates shares in Macedonian plate maker
ArcelorMittal Spain to maintain lay-offs
Turkish domestic rebar market slow
Sweden's BE Group sees weak recovery for steel market
June better than July for Italian long products
Incentive schemes boosted EU car sales in June
Port of Marghera to increase depth for bigger vessels
Increases for N. Europe HDG may take a little time
Severstal relights furnace No.1 at Cherepovets
BE Group to lay off entire staff in Finland in rotation

Asia
Chinese mill shuts three EAFs to cut pollution
Laigang to make hot rolled 'F-beams' for maglev trains
Rebar offer prices from certain mills dip in SE
Asia
Angang lifts August prices as orders rise
Billet import prices are stable in firm SE Asian market
Hebei Steel lifts rebar, wire rod prices again
Tokyo Steel eyes stepping up Okayama production
Weak demand prompts longer summer for Japanese mills
China welded pipe prices rise but traders can't benefit

North America
US rod and wire products prices likely to rise
Allegheny hikes electrical steel surcharge for September
Monthly US mill shipments rise 6%, but are still low
Mexican mills increase July rebar prices
Evraz North America output falls 30% from Q1 to Q2
US plate exports down

Latin America
After May's peak, Brazilian rail imports dip dramatically
Middle East & Africa
Uganda looks for investors for blast furnace
Demand falls a bit in UAE for flats, prices still high

Scrap & Raw Materials
Gerdau is keen to resume output at Várzea do Lopes mine
Pakistan scrap demand slow, domestic prices stable
Chinese EMM prices rise on improving demand
Chinese ferro-silicon prices rise as supply tightens
China continuing to negotiate iron ore benchmark: Mofcom
China scrap prices rise as traders return to the market

Stainless steel & Ferro-alloys
Acerinox not interested in European stainless mergers
Sojitz to supply Bahru Stainless CR mill
Nippon Steel considers lifting shares in Nisshin
Posco mulls buying Vietnamese stainless cold-roller

Tubes & Pipes
Russia’s TMK expects LD pipe demand to grow in H2
Romanian pipe mill suspends some production
German domestic tube sales likely more than 20% down in 2009
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Rautaruukki expects slight improvement in sectoral demand
Finnish steel producer Rautaruukki expects a slight improvement in end-user demand in the short-term, according to its second quarter results. "We can see the first signs of some levelling off of the market so maybe the worst times are over," company president and CEO Sakari Tamminen tells Steel Business Briefing.

Residential construction in Finland and the Nordic region may well rebound slightly towards the end of this year, he believes. Infrastructure construction is also expected to pick up in the Nordic countries aided by government investment. While “competition is fierce in Central Eastern Europe for the time being,” Tamminen says there is still a “strong need” for renovation construction and infrastructure projects in the region.
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TODAY'S TOP SBB HEADLINES
Nucor's $60 sheet move catches wave of US skepticism
China on course to produce 530m t this year
Italian rebar prices firm up but volumes are lower
SE Asia HRC market firm, thin-gauge supply is very tight
Brazil's mills get $500/t fob HRC export deals, traders say
SBB Special Report: Business as usual in China, Rio says

Europe
Slow market for HRC in Italy, some recovery in September
Better auto demand supports Spanish furnace restart
ArcelorMittal gets amendment to debt covenants
European cold rolling associations get new director
German plate prices may be turning
Poland’s Zlomrex consolidates distribution arm
Rautaruukki expects slight improvement in sectoral demand
Romania’s Mechel Targoviste sheds non-production staff
Ruukki Metals’ steel production halved in H1
Flat product market advance slows down in Turkey
Spanish wire rod market still quiet
Destocking & competition hit central & east European markets
EU steel prices to remain flat in Q3: correction
Consultancy firm comes out on top in SBB annual soccer fest
Corus in talks over future of Teesside plant
Russia's NLMK sees Q3 demand & prices strengthening

Asia
Pakistan Steel reports loss, output is down about 40%
Chinese domestic HRC, CRC prices bounce
Shougang launches PC bar mill
China's Xinxing Pipe reports 21% profit growth
Posco to build galvanizing plant in India
Nippon Steel has more upstream feeds without Kimitsu
Nakayama Steel Product lifts rebar prices on costlier scrap

North America
Evraz NA sees declines in rolled product selling prices
L.B. Foster/Gerdau Ameristeel win $23m flood wall contract
Processor planning $15m plant near Severstal Columbus
NA stockist shipments rise while inventories fall
Insteel expects to win trade case vs. Chinese strand

Latin America
Colombian auto industry on the slide
Brazil's H1 crude steel output drops 39%
Usiminas to restart idled BF at Cubatão works, union says
Soluções Usiminas operating at 75% of its capacity

Middle East & Africa
Construction drives demand for long products in Morocco

Scrap & Raw Materials
Chinese ore appetite bolsters Capesize freight rates
Great Lakes raw materials shipments decline
Vale settles iron ore prices with Ilva and Erdemir
Wuhan gets approvals for $240m iron mine investment
Tata raises holding in coal miner
East Asian scrap import market is firm and stable
Chinese iron ore production bounces back on higher prices
Delay in Lincoln Indonesia iron ore development
Iron ore prices finish week at 2009 highs, says TSI

Stainless steel & Ferro-alloys
Stainless imports taking smaller share of US market
Q4 world stainless output will be positive y-o-y – Macquarie
Posco strengthens stainless sales with ASC buy
Posco board OKs purchase of Vietnam stainless CR maker
Taiwanese stainless producers leave prices unchanged
Chinese FeCr import prices surge
Asian stainless prices unchanged but may rise later
Tangshan Stainless: correction

Tubes & Pipes
Pipe export prices decrease in Turkey
Sandvik's steel arm sees Q2 orders collapse on weak demand
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Cercle Finance le 21/07/2009 à 08:11 ArcelorMittal : acquisition définitive de Noble BV aux USA.

(CercleFinance.com) - ArcelorMittal a annoncé la conclusion de l'acquisition de toutes les actions émises et en circulations de Noble European Holdings B.V (Noble BV). Cette société privée néerlandaise est spécialisée dans le domaine des flans soudés au laser, principalement en Europe.

ArcelorMittal a signé un accord d'achat définitif Le 8 mai 2009 avec la maison mère de Noble BV, Noble International, Ltd. L'acquisition a été faite aux termes du paragraphe 363 du chapitre 11 du Code américain de la Faillite sur autorisation de la cour américaine pour les faillites du District Est de l'Etat du Michigan.

Noble BV est un des principaux producteurs européens de flans soudés, avec des activités en Belgique, en France, en Allemagne, en Espagne, au Royaume-Uni, en Slovaquie, en Australie, au Mexique, en Chine et en Inde. La société a réalisé un chiffre d'affaires de 340 millions d'euros en 2008.
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Preview of Today's Top Article July 21
World output reached nine-month high in June
World crude steel production reached 99.8m tonnes in June, 4% up on May and its highest level since September 2008 when 107.9mt were produced. But it remained 16% below the 118.8mt produced in June 2008.

The World Steel Association data sent to Steel Business Briefing, which cover 66 steelmaking countries and are partly estimated, put output in the first half of this year at 549mt, down by 21.3% on the 698mt produced in the same period last year.
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TODAY'S TOP SBB HEADLINES
Most coil prices keep moving upward: The Steel Index
World output reached nine-month high in June
Chinese rebar output hit new record in June
SBB Special Report: Panhua to double CR, coated capacity
US industry above 50% utilization for second-straight week
Venezuelan HBI export prices at US$190-215/t fob
Producers keep plate prices low in northern Europe

Europe
Czech steelmaker cuts workforce in response to crisis
Poland's CMC Zawiercie commissions new fabrication plant
Turkish HDG prices may rise again due to coil shortage
New galvanising line starts production in Turkey
Turkish alloy steel production decreased 83% in first half
Lucchini runs normally after melt shop explosion
Evraz Group appoints new directors
Italian crude steel output down 43% in H1
UK rebar prices stagnant at low levels
NLMK gets majority stake in longs maker NSMMZ
Duferco Belgium remains cautious on outlook
German minister ready to address bank lending to business

Asia
Pakistan Steel set to return to full capacity
Vedanta revisits Indian steel mill plans
Chinese iron ore traders relaxed on review of import status
Shanxi to close 6m t of old capacity this year
Vietnam breaks ground on new bar/rod mill
Beijing-Shanghai rail link wins Jigang 400,000 t
Cheaper steel should help Korean shipbuilders

North America
US distributors forecast higher demand and prices
RMDAS July US scrap prices up significantly
US ITC greenlights trade case vs. Chinese wire decking
Analyst has negative outlook on Ameristeel, US longs
Moody's downgrades outlook on CMC
Plymouth Tube says US downturn longer than expected
Canadian official, US Steel at odds over operations
Mexican construction sector reports another decline in May

Latin America
IBS: Brazil consumption to be off 20%, but H2 outlook good
Mittal exec: steel downturn over, but Brazil's economy lags
Gerdau denies additional closures in Colombia

Middle East & Africa
Closing steel trade gap a challenge for Iran
Iranian flat product imports show sharp rise
Iran cancels plans to raise import duties, fearing inflation

Scrap & Raw Materials
ArcelorMittal Serra Azul expanding sinter feed output
Vale settles iron ore prices with Italy's Lucchini
Lower costs through Indian iron ore merger
Turkish mills buy little scrap, fearing margin squeeze
China denies halting ore price talks with Rio
Japanese scrap exports remain buoyant for now
LME moly 'could become reference price' if trading builds

Stainless steel & Ferro-alloys
ArcelorMittal Inox Brasil to reach 80% capacity utilization
Chinese 304 stainless prices up RMB 400/t
Firmer demand for ferro-chrome seen continuing
Posco to raise 300-series home prices by $160/t

Tubes & Pipes
TenarisDalmine adjusts output, confirms some investments
China’s welded pipe production rises in June
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Preview of Today's Top Article July 22
Tata lists on London Stock Exchange, raises $500m
Tata Steel, parent company of Anglo-Dutch producer Corus, has raised $500m (€351m) through a listing on the London Stock Exchange.

The company issued 65.4m global depository receipts (GDRs) in London, with every GDR representing one ordinary share, priced at $7.644 each. Tata increased the offering from $400m to $500m because of demand from investors, it says.
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TODAY'S TOP SBB HEADLINES
Buyers take breather in ever-rising SE Asian HRC market
CIS billet export prices drift on lack of buyers
Italian HRC market heats up, Riva increases price
The Steel Index launches Europe rebar-billet price spreads
Prices for plate still seen fairly flat in N.

Europe
AK Steel expects US auto orders to be up 40% in Q2
Brazilian longs prices to stabilize in second half
Europe
ArcelorMittal Spain schedules summer closures
Longs prices increase in July in northern Italy
Corus Port Talbot 'uncompetitive', Tata warns
ArcelorMittal to release 300 workers in Czech Republic
Turkish flat steel output declines a bit in June
Turkish mill cuts prices for pig iron and some sections
Italian plate market improves slightly

Asia
Vietnamese importers mull re-export of HRC cargoes
Shougang steps up autosheet sales
New tyre cord plant set up in northern China
Tata lists on London Stock Exchange, raises $500m
Posco lifts output target by 6%, restarts blast furnace
Baosteel Special Steel starts new slab caster
Japan’s June output down but JISF sees improvement
Chinese HRC prices rise, inventories too
Tokyo Steel lifts most domestic prices for August
China Steel to bring forward blast furnace restart
Danieli to install HDG line at Tianjin, China
Japanese importers officially duty-free: Thailand

North America
Ashland BF could continue to operate with US order uptick
AK anticipating 27% rise in Q3 shipments, stagnant pricing
NA processor Barzel posts $31m quarterly loss
Q2 sales down for Beta Steel, but US shows 'positive signs'
US steelmaker makes $110m pension contribution

Latin America
Argentina's Aceros Zapla operating at 20% of capacity
Argentinean flats prices stable during July
Vale increasing Ponta da Madeira export capacity
Ciafal at 95% capacity, continuing with expansion plans
Inventories said to be back to 'normal' in Peru
Usiminas opens new warehouse in southern Brazil

Middle East & Africa
Saudi Arabian demand for strip keeps high, prices may rise
Iran eyes up to 10m t/y of new capacity in Persian Gulf Zone
Iran raises production and exports

Scrap & Raw Materials
Chilean iron ore exports see signs of recovery
Russia’s Mechel increases mining division output
Brazil's Viena increases pig iron production by 12%
ThyssenKrupp gets iron ore prices in line with benchmark
Miner delays output increase, expects license in a month
Power cuts, tight credit subdue Indian scrap market
Wugang closes deal with Canadian iron ore miner
Pig iron output down 15% so far this year
China's Xiyang plans 2010 for Russian iron ore project
Wuhan, Centrex agree terms for iron ore venture
S.J. Metals launches scrap operation in Bahrain

Stainless steel & Ferro-alloys
Spain's Acerinox sets second longs price increase
Ferro-chrome price to rise on stainless steel recovery
Taiyuan raises stainless 304, 430 prices by RMB200-300/t
Stainless surcharges rising in North American market

Tubes & Pipes
CNOOC Kingland expanding pipe processing capacity
Chinese specialty pipe maker starts seamless mill
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Mighty Mittal Continues to Grow
by: Shiv Kapoor July 22, 2009 | about: MT
Shiv Kapoor

seekingalpha.com/article/150490-might...

Fundamentals

Core Business Fundamentals

I posted on ArcelorMittal (MT) back in November, 2008. My views are largely unchanged and can be viewed here. What's changed?

The dividend was cut in half, from $1.50 per share to $0.75 per share. I do not see the cut as a change in the long term dividend trend; MT has a shareholder value policy which calls for returning value with a payout ratio of 30% via a combination of buy backs and dividends. I expect dividend growth to resume rapidly once debt is paid down.
The balance sheet is much improved as a result of new equity and debt issuances.
It is clear that the steel industry has changed radically over the past economic cycle. In the past, steel has always commanded very low multiples. The two main reasons for this are (a) the industry was fragmented and so the negotiating power of steel makers versus raw material producers was weak; this left them very exposed during cyclical down turns. And (b) because the industry was fragmented, production cuts to drive down inventory were not executed; as a result during cyclical downturns the price of steel collapsed.
Under the leadership of the Mighty Mittals, the steel industry is different today. Much consolidation has occurred in the industry and this is a game changing event; once the markets recognize “The New Steel Industry”, the multiples will expand. This downturn has been far more severe than several faced in the past; yet the industry response has been swift and strong and this has averted what could have been a prolonged disturbance in the industry.
At the same time it is clear that recent expansion in capacity exceeds near term incremental demand. In my view it will take 3 to 4 years for capacity shortfall to arise anew. The long term fundamentals for steel remain very powerful and steel makers need to continue investing to expand capacity, provided prices stay over the marginal cost of production.
Players like ArcelorMittal are advantaged because several of their facilities are low marginal cost ones. They are able to respond by shutting down or mothballing higher marginal cost facilities, while keeping low marginal cost facilities operating at full capacity. The profitability of operations is high because steel prices are likely to cover the higher marginal cost at an industry level. Note that overall demand has already reached past the level where it can be fully supplied from low marginal cost producers.
ArcelorMittal derives much of its demand from energy, automobiles, housing, mining and infrastructure companies. All are particularly powerful up-trends, caused by demand in emerging markets, most notably China and India. This is offset by demand reduction in the developed economies which are suffering on account of the recent property and debt bubbles.
ArcelorMittal products are highly dependent on credit availability. Several potential buyers have damaged and over-leveraged balance sheets. However, long term this should not make a difference; for example if GM (GMGMQ.PK) is forced out of the market, there will be increased demand for Toyota’s (TM); demand initiates from the consumer and crystallizes at the auto manufacturer and ArcelorMittal is a lead supplier to most major automakers.
As a result of the financial crisis, a deferral in replacement cycle can be expected. There are no visible catalysts for a significant reversal during 2009 into much of 2010. However, the process of the development, urbanization and industrialization of India and China is irreversible; this is a multi-decade period of growth. Rising demand with shortfalls in long term capacity is likely to keep steel margins firm.

Leverage

Total debt net of cash was just over $26.7 billion as at 31 March 2009. Shareholders Equity at this time was $55.46 billion. Net debt divided by net debt plus equity came in at 32.5%. Subsequent to the quarter, significant further steps have been taken to reduce debt levels and to alter the debt maturity profile. Following these actions, it is my view that MT’s balance sheet cannot be viewed as over-leveraged or damaged keeping in mind the capital intensive nature of the industry they operate in.

Returning Shareholder Value

The policy of ArcelorMittal aims to return 30% of ArcelorMittal's prior year's annual net income to shareholders every year through an annual base dividend, supplemented by share buy-backs. I believe this is a responsible value return strategy and the payout ratio is in line with what should be expected given the need to reinvest profits to realize the growth potential in the industry. A dividend cut does not mean that the long term trend of dividend growth is dead. In my view, it is likely that dividends will be back to the $1.50 level no later than 2011, provided that the world does not plunge into another pool of despair.

Valuation

The past 9 years have seen immense growth for MT. Much of the growth has been driven by M&A activity. In such situations, historic growth rates do not provide a reliable guide for valuation. In my view, I believe long term EPS of $5.45 (past 6 year average EPS) growing at 7% annual is very achievable. Using a 30% payout, we arrive at a shareholder value return of $1.64. A shareholder looking for an 11% return would be willing to pay $43.71 for an income flow of $1.64 growing at 7%. Any price below this is a good price to buy in. Some investors might be willing to wait longer and pay higher prices which might prevail when there is better clarity on the economic fundamentals, while others might wish to benefit from lower prices obtained while expectations are low. I am the latter kind of investor. Please note $43.71 is a buy target; for MT I do not have a sell target because I have high expectations and think that over time MT values will reach for the skies.

Disclosure: Long MT
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MEPS REPORTS A SLIGHT UPTURN IN EU STEEL PRICES IN JULY

www.meps.co.uk/keynote07-09.htm

Demand and prices are strengthening in the European strip market as the destocking phase is all but over and buyers need to fill the gaps in their inventories. Delivery lead times are lengthening and a surge in third country imports is unlikely due to the competitiveness of domestic prices. Several major mills have told customers they intend to lift basis values for the third quarter. The proposed rises range from €20 to €30 per tonne. However, some companies feel the move is premature. There are concerns that producers may try to ramp up capacity too soon and that the market will be unable to absorb the increased supply, especially as the summer vacation is looming.

There are more enquiries now in the German market but they are mainly from customers looking for specific qualities and dimensions because they have run out of these items. Consequently, the mills have received a greater number of orders in recent weeks but volumes remain low. It is too early to say whether buyers will eventually accept the higher prices demanded. Certainly, some period three business has already been concluded at second quarter figures. Signs of improvement in real consumption are virtually non-existent.

In France, stock levels are returning to normal. Activity is picking up slowly, particularly in the auto sector, but many end-users are still suffering from the economic downturn. Offers from the mills are limited because of output curbs. As a result, most EU suppliers have announced price hikes for the July/September period. Values have remained stable, so far, but market participants believe that the proposed increases are likely to be implemented soon.

Business is not so bad in Italy. Activity has picked up quite suddenly. All, or most, of the surplus stock has been removed from the supply chain and customers need to purchase material again, although not in large quantities as consumption is relatively low. Companies are still struggling but the consensus view is that the worst is behind them. Riva has been able to push up prices as availability has been tightened by significant output cuts. Improvements in international markets have lessened import pressure.

Market signals are slightly more encouraging now in the UK. The mills are lifting prices. They have seen a spike in purchasing as customers run out of inventories and the production restraints of recent months have significantly restricted supply. However, market players fear it may be a "false dawn" because there are no signs to indicate any uptick in real consumption. Buyers generally have paid more for third quarter business due to limited availability, reportedly exacerbated by "production issues" at Corus that are causing deliveries to run up to two months late.

The Belgian scene has changed very little. Producers are claiming increases but customers believe the proposals to be too ambitious for the moment, since inventories have still not been cleared. Underlying demand has not improved and the general economy is weak.

Spanish distributors' stocks have been reduced to very low levels. Service centres report that enquiries have gone up a little, recently, but there are fears that the upcoming summer holidays will dampen this small revival. Nevertheless, stockists and end-users recognise that prices are firming. Most July/August business has already been booked at figures similar to the second quarter but September deliveries are likely to carry a premium as supply tightens. Import prices are still above local ones. Additionally, the tonnages that most customers require are not sufficiently large to warrant ordering overseas.

Source: MEPS - European Steel Review - click here for a free sample copy

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24/Jul/2009 Latest news from SBB
Low capacity utilisation should help keep prices firm - WSR
N European strip market still confident going into summer
Chinese HRC export prices increase quickly
Little movement in SE Asian billet import market
Usiminas temporarily suspends new 5m t/y slabs plant
US mill execs say scrap prices likely flat into August
N Europe merchant bar prices stable on summer shutdowns

Europe
Imported strip prices firm in Southern Europe
Hyundai may move some production to Czech Rep/Slovakia
UK sheet fabricator gets new owner
Turkish shortage of flat products eases
Rebar market in ex-Yugoslav countries still not picking up
Corus: long-term agreement impossible with TCP offtakers

Asia
Buoyant Baosteel bookings to boost ex-works coil prices
Steel trade deficit key in Japan-Korea steel summit
Anshan Steel lifts HRC export prices to Japan
Kyoei Steel decides to lift rebar prices
Sail, Posco E&C take BF dispute to Delhi court
Chinese billet prices keep increasing
China Steel puts Malaysia electrical steel project on hold
Anhui Tianda Oil's pipe sales rise in Q2
Indian pipe maker plans 2.2m t/y integrated mill

North America
ATI chief says demand to remain low in Q3
Mason out as CEO of Severstal NA
Nucor loses $133m in Q2, 'earnings improvement' ahead
Reliance posts first loss since 1975, but 'worst is behind'
Mexico's Ahmsa resumes No 5 blast furnace operations
Electrical steel execs agree on downturn, differ on extent
Ford avoids fifth-consecutive quarterly loss with Q2 profit
DiMicco questions competitor's projected H2 auto hike

Latin America
El Salvador's EAF mill close to completing expansion
Colombian construction sector drops again
Brazil's Usiminas sees Q2 net profit drop 63%
Brazil's Usiminas sets higher export tonnage target for 2009

Middle East & Africa
Iran's Esfahan Steel inaugurates new blast furnace
UAE flat demand is moderate, prices stable
Turkey
Turkish mill cuts billet and rebar prices
Sixty steel companies in Turkey's Top 500

Stainless
Destocking finished in Q2, prices rising: Outokumpu
Asian stainless prices rise $200-250/t
Outokumpu expects weak delivery volumes in Q3

Scrap & Raw
Iron ore contract prices 2009-10
Evraz sees mine output remaining stable in H2 2009
Indian pig iron export price inch upwards
IFM to restart second FeCr furnace in mid-August
Spot imported iron ore prices rise in China
Orissa expects first pellet plant in 2010
No sign of recovery for iron ore in Europe, says Kumba CEO
ArcelorMittal settles prices for Canadian pellet exports
German scrap prices rise 16-20% in July
Guinea threatens to eject Rio Tinto from Simandou
Plans for north-central Brazil pig iron plant suspended
Canadian coal miner's earnings rise 15%

Tubes & Pipes
China’s welded pipe exports down 38% in June
China’s welded pipe prices rise slightly
Northwest Pipe says Q2 earnings won't meet expectations
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www.meps.co.uk/MarketHighlights07.09.htm

STEEL PRICES FOR FLAT PRODUCTS INCREASING IN ALL MAIN DEVELOPING COUNTRIES

Turkish long product quotations were raised at the beginning of this month, but have since fallen back due to low demand. July offers shadowed the movement in semi-finished and scrap values. A similar adjustment was made to export prices. Sentiment in the flat products segment is still mixed. Erdemir introduced a new set of basis prices and lifted the value of their extras. Shortages resulted in a price spike in the first week. End-users saw their raw material costs sky rocket. Flat product prices have lost some ground since then.

The UAE is once again preparing itself for a period of low activity. Orders for steel material have already started to soften. This trend is expected to continue until the end of the holy month of Ramadan. The cost of imported material spiked this month owing to shortages fuelled by lower import volumes. Prices have since softened. Merchants are forecasting prices to be stable during the religious festival.

Sentiment within the Indian steel industry is still mixed. Flat product steelmakers are once again bullish after an upturn in local sales volumes. Domestic offers for flat rolled material have risen on average by Rs500-1,000 per tonne. The pick up in steel usage from automobiles and white goods manufacturers continued this month. In contrast, effective prices for long products are starting to weaken. The country is now entering a period of low seasonal demand. The annual budget did little to improve the industry’s mindset. Long product producers were left disappointed over the absence of new infrastructure and rural housing projects.

Utilisation rates of Russian steelmakers have continued to rise but their counterparts in the Ukraine are still reluctant to follow their lead. There are still concerns over the debt levels of the Russian majors, but sentiment within the industry has strengthened owing to stronger shipments to the automotive and construction sectors. On average, the Russian producers are now operating at 70 percent of potential, with NLMK and Severstal leading the way. Ukrainian steelmakers are still operating below 60 percent.

Distributor stock levels in South Africa are still very low. The majority have been unwilling to replenish owing to infrequent purchasing activity. Confidence is still weak and local buyers remain bearish. AMSA's announcement of an August price rise resulted in a spike in orders in late June and early July. Highveld responded to its main competitors move with a price correction of its own and left its July offers unchanged but next month’s adjustment will bring its basis prices into line with AMSA’s.

The Brazilian steel market has entered a period of calm. Prices are exhibiting more stability and there are signs of month-on-month incremental improvements in real demand. Fiscal measures are improving demand for flat rolled material but more needs to done to assist the long product segments. Nonetheless confidence amongst steelmakers is on the mend. The import duties re-employed last month and higher international prices have given the local producers some breathing space. A few are now preparing to bring online idle production.

Trading activity in Mexico is starting to show signs of progress. Flat rolled product prices are beginning to rise in response to a small recovery in demand. A similar resurgence has occurred in the long products segment. The steelmakers raised their domestic offers twice in July. There are concerns that shortages may bring about artificially high transaction values. Presently, local producers are only operating around 55 to 60 percent capacity. Altos Hornos de Mexico SA (Ahmsa) has taken advantage of the lull in demand and has started to refurbish its blast furnaces.

Source: MEPS - Developing Markets Steel Review - click here for a free sample copy

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Preview of Today's Top Article
Alloy prices rise on steelmaking upturn
The prices of some alloy metals used in steelmaking have seen a mini-rally over the past week as the European market realised stocks are dwindling and it rides the renewed upturn in the stainless steel sector.

Ferro-molybdenum has risen to its highest level since November of $33/kilogram (€23/kg). It was trading at $29/kg the week before last.
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TODAY'S TOP SBB HEADLINES
Imported slab prices catch up with billet in E Asia
Nucor starts Decatur coating line, but holds other projects
ArcelorMittal setting up new mining unit
Turkish government may cut import duties on coils
China's output continues rise despite oversupply fears
Latest US sheet hike 'game changer' for August scrap prices

Europe
TK Steel output may drop to 7.5m tonnes this year
Putin presses start button on MMK's new wide plate mill
Kurum's Albanian plant hopes to ramp up capacity
Debt ridden Estar mill taken under trader's wing
Erdemir focuses on local market, reduces exports
New Turkish alloy steel plant starts up; eyes stainless too
Scrap merchants warm to LME billet futures
Alloy prices rise on steelmaking upturn
Corus under fire over Teesside slab proposals
Polish mills seek Ukrainian energy to cut costs
German auto component suppliers gain from scrap bonus
ThyssenKrupp pursues sale of non-core unit
Flat imports into EU-15 roughly halved in May
ArcelorMittal aims to cut CO2 emissions by 8% by 2020

Asia
Steel production recovering in Hebei
Sail fudging about financing its capital spending
Bayi Iron & Steel commissions its plate mill
Baosteel subsidiary adds 200,000 t/y tinplate capacity
Vietnam reviews import duty on alloy bar/rod
Chung Hung may restart Jenn An galv line this year

North America
Price falls hurt US rod/wire maker Leggett & Platt
Metals USA profitable as shipments drop significantly
Mexico's Simec see its H1 sales down 37%
Mexico's ICH reports lower H1 sales, profit
No start-up yet for Nucor Arizona bar mill

Latin America
ArcelorMittal Juiz de Fora may rehire some laid-off workers
Usiminas aims to double iron ore output by 2011
Brazil's Villares Metals increases capacity in forged steel
CRC shipments on the rise in Brazil

Middle East & Africa
Iran's first auto quality galv line nears start-up

Scrap & Raw Materials
Arch Coal sees met coal demand moving up
Brazilian pig iron industry tipped for consolidation
Iron miner Shougang Hierro Peru workers end strike
Iron ore price rises 10% in a week, says The Steel Index
Pakistan scrap buyers turn to imports on lower prices
German scrap merchant Interseroh reshuffles management
Indian iron ore demand drops, exports help price stability
China domestic iron ore prices continue to rise
Doubt cast on talk of ore price settlement by 1 August
Chinese iron ore importers look beyond traditional suppliers

Stainless steel & Ferro-alloys
US stimulus spending may benefit stainless pipe
Taigang Stainless says June record month for output, sales
Chinese FeSi, SiMn prices rise on strong domestic demand
Nippon Steel builds FeCr refining plant at Yawata
Chinese EMM, FeMn prices rise

Tubes & Pipes
Xigang adding new seamless pipe mill
Billet shortage pushes up Chinese seamless pipe prices
Brazilian seamless exports fall; new mill on schedule
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Preview of Today's Top Article
More Japanese mills plan to lift output in July-September
Sumitomo Metal Industries (SMI), Kobe Steel and Nisshin Steel say they expect to raise crude steel output in the July-September quarter. This follows similar plans outlined by Japan’s two leading integrated steelmakers, Nippon Steel and JFE Steel.

SMI forecasts that its output in July-September will rise by 21% to 2.76m tonnes. Its crude steel output in April-June was 2.28m tonnes, a decrease 34.9% year-on-year. “It is difficult to estimate steel demand after October because current economic conditions are unusual. However, we believe April-June was the bottom and our output will rise from the next quarter,” a SMI spokeswoman tells Steel Business Briefing.
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TODAY'S TOP SBB HEADLINES
CIS plate export market perks up a little, Europe is slow
German and French rebar mills put up size extras
Suppliers raise billet prices to SE Asia
Chinese mills raise flats prices and restore output
SBB Special Report: Housing is new steel hotspot for China
Vale's Q2 revenues drop 42%, profits decline 81%
Allegheny raising stainless FR prices another 6% for August

Europe
Prices could rise again in quiet N. European strip market
Imported longs fail to impact Southern European market
Turkish colour-coated coil demand good, prices stable
Eramet Alloys to maintain production cuts in second half 09
Turkey's Kardemir signs large rail contract with Iran
ArcelorMittal Galati accused of breaking competition rules
Some European engineering surcharges up for August
German project aims to cut CO2 emissions from BF by 28%
Some European holidays are almost over; some still to start

Asia
Higher costs, lower prices slash Tata profits by 48%
More Japanese mills plan to lift output in July-September
Baosteel produces high value tinplate
Changzhi Steel starts up new wire rod line
Taiwan's Chung Hung raises August export prices by $40/t

North America
AK Steel raises sheet prices another $40 in US market
ArcelorMittal NA's Q2 FR shipments off 55% from 2008
Olympic expects positive H2 results, after H1 collapse
Cuba to move into production of tubes, light profiles

Latin America
Colombia's Sidenal operating at 70% of its output capacity
Peru's Aceros Arequipa exporting bars to Panama
Middle East & Africa
UAE rebar mills eye Turkish exports to judge August prices
ArcelorMittal SA leaves most prices unchanged for September
Egyptian mills cut rebar prices
AMSA plans to increase capacity-utilisation in Q3

Scrap & Raw Materials
ArcelorMittal consolidates charcoal assets in Brazil
Saudi scrap prices unchanged on stable rebar prices
China's Wuhan set to commission new BF
China iron ore benchmark unlikely anytime soon: CISA
Tight domestic supply drives up scrap prices in Japan
Taishan Steel builds new coke battery
Exports 'disappear' for Venezuela's Orinoco Iron, Venprecar
Brazil's scrappers lift processing on higher EAF demand

Stainless steel & Ferro-alloys
Carpenter Technology reports Q4 loss, full-year earnings
Yusco to raise 300-series export stainless prices
Canada ends dumping duties on US, Korean stainless wire
Chinese FeSi offer prices up again
Chinese EMM, FeMn prices rise on strong domestic demand
Chinese 304 stainless prices surge by $190-205/t
Worst half year in stainless steel's history - Acerinox

Tubes & Pipes
Israel pipe prices increase on higher coil prices
China seamless pipe output up in H1 but exports drop
China’s welded pipe prices keep rising
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Preview of Today's Top Article
ArcelorMittal sees continued strong steel demand in China
ArcelorMittal expects steel production in China to increase by as much as 10% in 2009 compared to 2008 because the domestic market and demand are strong, chief executive Lakshmi Mittal said last week.

This contrasts with the company’s expectations for the rest of the world. In Europe, steel consumption may decline by more than 20% this year, in the US it could fall by about 20%, and overall outside China it will decline by 15-20%, Mittal forecast.
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TODAY'S TOP SBB HEADLINES
Vale restarts pellet plants on growth in demand
Rebar prices stagnant in southern Europe; demand weak
US 'Cash for Clunkers' program gets extension
Market moves into balance, but not for long - WSR
Chinese ore customers to get more pricing options

Europe
Bekaert sees wire rod prices stabilising
Italian imports almost halved in H1 2009
Lucchini sees steep price falls for most products
Severstal increases Q2 2009 output
Turkish domestic rebar prices on upward path
Turkish rebar export offers increase on rising scrap cost
German stockists are becoming more positive, says BDS
Konsorcjum Stali buys steel structures fabricator
Romanian strip producer installs new cold rolling mill

Asia
ArcelorMittal sees continued strong steel demand in China
Russia's VEB bank to take 100% control of Amurmetal
CISA fights losing battle to curb production and price rises
China plate up on higher ex-works prices
China promotes greater use of sinter cleaners
Australian government sets up steel advisory council
Hegang again hikes rebar prices
Exports to help Japan's July-September output rise
Scrap import prices move up in east Asia
Japan’s flat-rolled stocks dip again in June but more needed
Koreans look to lower import duties from India trade pact

North America
BF down after fire at US Steel's Granite City works
Samuel M-T says no recovery in NA economy until late 2010
Severstal NA Q2 output off 9% from Q1, but coated up 17%

Latin America
Siderperú reports H1 loss, lower sales
Brazil's state-owned bank to lift loans for steelmaking
Brazil's CSN increases shipments again in July

Middle East & Africa
AMSA idles tinning line, canmakers turn to imports
Tender for Zisco due to be opened in mid-August
Egyptian flat prices increase, market short of some material
Mobarakeh still in profit despite difficult market

Scrap & Raw Materials
Fire on shredder site in Brandenburg
Colombia's H1 ferronickel exports fall 42%
New group set up to promote iron ore derivatives
Daily iron ore reference price up last week: The Steel Index
Sesa Goa’s sales volumes rise, profits fall in Q1
Sangang restarts No 3 blast furnace
Asian pig iron prices rise in tandem with raw materials
September fall predicted for Indian iron ore export prices
CISA determined to realise 'one price' for imported ore
Atlas selling to China using 'provisional' Asian benchmark
Anglo's Brazilian iron ore project on track to start in 2012
Chinese FeCr import price stable, outlook mixed
Hyundai Steel pays more for Japanese scrap
Brazil's FeSi producer halves production on lower demand
Russian ferro-silicon producer sees exports rise to Asia
Tata Steel absorbs coke subsidiary

Stainless steel & Ferro-alloys
European stainless bar surcharges move up again
Turkish stainless coil prices increase despite low demand
Chinese 430, 200-series stainless prices surge
Asian stainless prices up another $50/t

Tubes & Pipes
Slovakian tube mill cuts production
Turkish domestic tube prices weaken on seasonal slowdown
China's seamless pipe prices keep rising
New pipe mill starts up in northern China
[verwijderd]
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Preview of Today's Top Article
ArcelorMittal sees restocking in US & Europe
We are starting to see a progressive increase in apparent steel demand in the US, after considerable destocking continued in the second quarter of 2009, ArcelorMittal chief executive Lakshmi Mittal said last week. Over the last two months apparent demand has improved by 10% and this should accelerate as a result of “extremely low” inventories, he believes.

US steel service centre inventories have fallen nearly 50% since the beginning of the economic crisis and are 15% lower than the previous all-time lows in the early 1980s, Mittal observed in a conference call monitored by Steel Business Briefing. They now represent just 2.4 months of consumption, he added.
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TODAY'S TOP SBB HEADLINES
Plate market looks more positive in Southern Europe
‘Pre-crisis’ activity will not resume before 2011: Mittal
HR coil prices showing gains, says The Steel Index
Shagang stuns market with huge bar/rod price hike
SBB Special Report: CISA concedes defeat over output curbs
Workers begin strike at Vale's Voisey's Bay nickel project

Europe
Max Aicher expands one Romanian site, abandons other
Mechel's ChMK to take control of Zlatoust
Turkish mills try to raise rebar prices
Corus TCP increases output to meet external orders
Erdemir's new hot strip mill reaches 100,000 tonnes/month
Lucchini crude steel increases in Q2, but remains below '08
Long product prices steady in northern Italy
Polish H1 2009 car production down but sales are up
Bosnian steelmaker restarts coke plant

Asia
Valin-ArcelorMittal paring spend on auto sheet project
Liugang to commission two sinter flue gas cleaners
Ship plate import prices rise further in SE Asia
E United revives Vietnam blast furnace project
Japanese steel exports in June up by 33%
Japanese win $480-500/t fob for Q3 HRC exports to Korea
Shanghai HRC prices jump after Shagang August increase
Korea's Hyundai lifts prices for rebar and beams

North America
US mills expected to try for October sheet price increases
AK Steel raises electrical sheet surcharge by $95/s.ton
Mill output continues to rise in US market
US manufacturing still sags, despite economic rebound
ArcelorMittal sees restocking in US & Europe

Latin America
Chile's rebar shipments improving, but still down 50% in H1
Chile's Gerdau AZA to delay expansion program
Colombia's Paz del Río hike sales, but sees revenues fall
'CSA wouldn’t exist without Vale,' says the miner
Brazil's Transpetro again importing ship plates from Asia

Middle East & Africa
Emirates see rebar prices unchanged for August

Scrap & Raw Materials
Sims Metal Management has new chairman
Brazil's Rio Doce Manganês FeMn output sold out
Peruvian iron ore exports improve in May
Mexico's raw materials output falls again
Scrap offer prices continue rising despite Turks' absence
Southern European scrap stable, Spanish might increase €20
Snim’s 2009 benchmark iron ore prices down a third
Iron ore market to improve for rest of 2009/2010 – Sphere
Freight rates slide on slower activity levels
Yigang on track to become 1.5m t/y integrated mill
Analysts upbeat on nickel with stainless demand strong
CISA 'one price' idea could see lower quality ore imports
Tokyo Steel lifts scrap purchase prices, again
ENRC pulls out of China gateway project
Monsoons, low availability slow Indian iron ore exports

Stainless steel & Ferro-alloys
Ferro-chrome destocking at an end, S. African producer says
German stainless orders doubled in June
Tang Eng aims for full stainless production in August

Tubes & Pipes
Lingyuan builds new pipe mills
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