BRIC STEEL PRICES INCREASE IN MARCH

BRIC steel prices may have reached their lowest point after rebounding slightly, in March.

In this month’s issue of the Developing Markets’ Steel Review, MEPS reported that the BRIC average transaction price advanced across all the flat and long products surveyed.

Chinese steel mill price offers soared, in March, as buyers rebuilt inventories following the Lunar New Year holidays. Domestic crude steel production reduced by 4 percent, in February, compared with twelve months ago. Supply may decline further in the near term, as Chinese steel mills, in Tangshan, are reportedly being ordered to reduce pollution during an international flower show between April and October.

Brazilian flat product prices are steady, this month. Hot dipped galvanized transaction values increased marginally as imports fell, in February, by 49.5 percent, month-on-month. However, domestic long product figures continued to fall as market activity remained lacklustre.

In Russia, local producers secured higher transaction prices, in March. Cold rolled coil figures rose by 4 percent, month-on-month. Long product values advanced despite order intake remaining muted.

Following the introduction of the minimum import price framework, in India, we noted that buyers remain hesitant to place orders. However, flat and long product values increased marginally, in March.

Source: MEPS – Developing Markets Steel Review – March Edition

Hot rolling mill from Primetals Technologies produces first coil in Vietnam for Formosa Ha Tinh Steel Co.

  • Production capacity 5.3 million metric tons of hot strip per annum
  • Plant produces many grades of steel, up to API and TRIP grades
  • Pair cross technology ensures optimal closed-loop control of profile and flatness

Primetals Technologies has supplied a hot rolling mill to the new steel works in Vung Ang, Vietnam, which is owned by the Formosa Ha Tinh Steel Corporation (FHS). The first coil was rolled at the end of December 2015. The rolling mill produces a wide range of steel – from quality grades up to API and TRIP grades, and has a capacity of 5.3 million metric tons of hot strip per year. Primetals Technologies was responsible for all the mechanical equipment, and supervised the erection and commissioning. The stands in the finishing mill are equipped with pair cross technology for optimal closed-loop control of the profile and flatness.

FHS is a majority holding of the Formosa Plastic Group (FPG), the largest private company in Taiwan. The order to supply the rolling mill was awarded to Primetals Technologies at the end of 2012 by the Taiwanese company, Nan Ya Plastics Corporation (NPC), which is also a subsidiary of the Formosa Plastic Group. The hot rolling mill is part of an integrated steel works that is under construction in the Vung Ang free trade zone in the northern part of Central Vietnamese Province of Ha Tinh. It is currently the world’s largest new construction project in the steel industry and the first large integrated steel works to be built in Vietnam. The first stage of construction is designed to produce around seven million metric tons of steel per year, and will expand FPG’s industrial activities into the steel sector.

The hot rolling mill from Primetals Technologies is designed to produce 5.3 million metric tons of hot strip per year. Thicknesses range from 1.2 to 25.4 millimeters and widths from 900 to 1,880 millimeters. The maximum coil weight is 40 metric tons. The mill can handle many different steel grades, including CQ, DQ, DDQ and IF steels, API grades up to X80, and also DP and TRIP steels.

Primetals Technologies was responsible for the design, engineering and supply of the mechanical equipment. This includes a two-stand roughing mill, a seven-stand finishing mill, three down coilers, and facilities for the mill workshop. Four of the stands of the finishing mill are equipped with pair cross technology. Pair cross rolls consist of upper and lower work and backup rolls set at an angle to each other, so that each pair forms an X when viewed from above. This enables the roll gap to be set optimally for fine control of the profile of the rolling stock. Depending on the angle set, the crown of the strip can be varied within wider limits as would be possible with conventional four-high stands with work roll bending. Across the world, around 150 finishing stands are equipped with pair cross technology. Primetals Technologies also supervised the erection and commissioning of the plant, and conducted the staff training.

Source: Primetals Technologies

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MEPS REPORTS A MODEST REVIVAL IN GLOBAL STEEL PRICES IN MARCH

Supply-side factors are starting to provide a boost to global steel values. As a result, the MEPS world steel price advanced, in March, for the third successive month.

Chinese steel mill price offers soared, this month, as buyers rebuilt inventories following the Lunar New Year holidays. Flat product values in North America continued to rise, after some US producers announced a third price hike in as many months.

We detect growing evidence that European selling figures are likely to have surpassed their lowest level in the current cycle after increasing slightly, this month.

MEPS believes that the rise in global transaction values is mainly supply-driven, either through mills closing or scaling back production. Trade protection measures, specifically in the US, are curtailing imports.

In February, global crude steel output fell by 3.3 percent, year-on-year. The world’s biggest steel producer, China, reduced supply by 4 percent, compared with twelve months ago.

Supply may decline further, in the near term, as Chinese steel mills, in Tangshan, are reportedly being ordered to reduce pollution during an international flower show between April and October.

Last month, crude steel manufacturing, in the European Union, fell by 6.3 percent, year-on-year, as German output slipped by 4.3 percent. UK production was slashed, by more than a third, as over 4,000 jobs were lost last year as SSI’s UK plant was closed. The country’s largest domestic steelmaker, Tata Steel, also announced a series of job cuts at its UK operations.

In February, US steel production increased by 2.9 percent, year-on-year. This is the first rise in fourteen months. Customers reported that preliminary antidumping duties on flat rolled products from several countries are starting to bite.

One MEPS source remarked that recent US price advances were “a slight breeze rather than a gale or hurricane”. However, offshore options are likely to be restricted further, over the coming months, which will give domestic producers a stronger position from which to raise local transaction figures.

Global selling values slipped to their lowest level for more than a decade, at the end of last year. Steelmakers have been forced to take decisive action, by cutting capacity or prompting trade cases. With energy and mining consumption remaining at relatively low levels, no significant uptick in worldwide steel demand is expected in 2016.

Despite the recent rise in transaction values at the start of this year, MEPS believes that any prolonged recovery in world steel prices is unlikely unless global overcapacity is addressed further.

Source: MEPS International Steel Review – March 2016 Issue

Primetals Technologies to modernize minimill of Abinsk Electric Steel Works in Russia

  • Billet production to rise from 0.95 to 1.5 million metric tons per annum
  • More quality steel grades will be produced
  • New technology will ensure higher availability and lower maintenance costs
  • Conversion costs will be substantially reduced

Abinsk Electric Steel Work, a Russian producer of long products, has signed a contract with Primetals Technologies to modernize the electric arc furnace, ladle furnace and 6-strand continuous billet caster in the company’s minimill. The aim of the modernization is to increase the production capacity of billets with cross sections of 130 and 150 millimeters from 0.95 to 1.5 million metric tons per annum. Additionally, Abinsk will be able to produce more quality steel grades, such as high carbon steel for wire and spring steel. The new technology will not only increase the availability of the steel works, but also decrease maintenance costs. Conversion costs will also be substantially lowered. The energy requirement of the electric arc furnace will be reduced from 410 to 370 kilowatt hours per metric ton. The modernized meltshop is scheduled to come into operation at the end of 2016, the continuous billet caster in the first quarter of 2017.

Abinsk Electric Steel Works is one of Russia’s leading producers of reinforcing bars and other long products. The company runs an electrical steel works and two rolling mills in Rajon Abinsk, located in the South Russian region of Krasnodar. Primetals Technologies is responsible for the basic and detail engineering, the production and supply of the new equipment, and will supervise their construction and commissioning. The electrical steel works will be equipped with new cross-plant process automation.

The modernization also involves installing a PLC-Based electrode control system and a new oxygen injection system from Primetals for the electric arc furnace in the steel works. In addition, high-current cables and the complete high-current busbar system after the furnace transformer will be replaced.

The roof panels and elbow will be re-engineered, and a new furnace pressure control system with Direct Evacuation Damper after the hot gas duct of the furnace primary suction line will installed. The main hydraulic system of the electric arc furnace will be modified to improve furnace movements and minimize the power off times, approximately by 20 seconds per each scrap charging. In addition to the electric arc furnace also the ladle furnace will be modernized and will be equipped with a new, four strand wire feed and a new lime injection system.

For the modernization of the 6 strand continuous billet caster, Primetals Technologies will supply stopper casting equipment, consisting of stopper mechanisms with electromechanical actuators, shroud manipulators, emergency cut-off gates and automatic mold powder feeders. The maximum casting speed will be 5 meters per minute for the 130 x 130 millimeter casting format. New DiaMold tube molds, DynaFlex mold oscillators, electromagnetic stirrers, roller blocks and secondary cooling spray headers will be installed for casting with high casting speed. A new billet marking machine will be installed in the run-out area of the plant. The existing turnover cooling bed will be modernized, new hydraulic cylinders will be installed, and the cooling bed hydraulic system will be modified.

Abinsk Electric Steel Works in the South Russian region of Krasnodar. Primetals Technologies will modernize the electric arc furnace, ladle furnace and 6-strand continuous billet caster.

Source: Primetals Technologies

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First hot coil on the continuous annealing line built by Fives at Guangxi Steel

Guangxi Iron & Steel Group Co., part of WISCO group, and Fives have successfully processed the first hot coil on a new continuous annealing line (CAL) on March 15, 2016 for the new 10 million ton plant in Fangchenggang, at the southern coastal region of China.

Fives designed and supplied the complete continuous annealing line with an annual capacity of 930,000 tons, dedicated to the production of a wide range of high value-added automotive steels, including advanced high strength steels (AHSS). The complete line includes Fives’ advanced proprietary technologies and equipment, such as an electrolytic degreasing section with a new separator technology, Stein Digiflex® vertical annealing furnace with the latest generation of AdvanTek® WRT 2.0 combustion systems and Flash Cooling® technologies, DMS SkinPass 6Hi, complete terminal equipment and a double scrap press.
Fives’ offer is complemented by an unrivalled automotive process, and by production know-how expertise from downstream to upstream operations, making it unique for the high-end automotive line market.

Guangxi Steel and Fives are also in the process of putting into operation two continuous galvanizing lines (CGL) with an annual capacity of 870,000 tons in total at the same Fangchenggang plant.

Source: Fives

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EUROPEAN STEEL PRICES ADVANCE IN MARCH

European flat product transaction values rebounded, in March, as import pressure from non-EU suppliers declined.

In March’s issue of the European Steel Review, MEPS reports that European selling values increased, from relatively low levels, this month, after falling for much of last year.

Western European steelmakers announced their second price hike, since the start of the year. Buyers appear to be placing orders at the higher price level due to a lack of attractive import offers.

Quotations from Chinese mills rose significantly, this month. The introduction of preliminary antidumping duties on cold rolled coil from China and Russia also hampered import penetration from overseas suppliers.

In Germany, customers reported that order intake had improved. French service centres noted that flat product market activity remained firm, in March.

Positive price movements have been recorded in Italy. UK selling figures were boosted by improved distribution activity.

In Belgium, domestic figures are higher than those in February. Tighter supply availability lifted Spanish transaction values, this month.

Source: MEPS – European Steel Review – March 2016 Issue