FRENCH STEEL PRICE ROUNDUP FROM MEPS INTERNATIONAL LTD

According to MEPS, French hot rolled coil selling figures rose significantly, in early May. A number of suppliers claim there is no capacity available for additional orders before the summer. A further price hike is anticipated next month, by those mills that still have availability.

Commodity plate selling figures soared. Some re-rolling mills are reported to have temporarily stopped quoting because of expanding delivery lead times and a lack of visibility on slab prices. Meanwhile, a lack of material at the ports allowed local producers to substantially hike cold rolled coil transaction values.

Supply of coated coil is tight. Some large users of this product have been forced to source more expensive Chinese material. French spot prices rose sharply.

Increases were noted for drawing quality wire rod in France. Similarly, recoil numbers advanced significantly, month-on-month. Order books are filling up more quickly now, even though activity remains weak in some sectors. Availability is problematic.

June mill order books are three quarters full, for structural sections, and some stockholders are placing orders without agreeing prices. However, end-user activity is sluggish. Demand is mainly fuelled by low inventories and speculative purchasing.

Source: MEPS – European Steel Review – May 2016 Issue

New bar heat Treating line for CEMTAS CELIK MAKINA

CEMTAS CELIK signed a contract with Danieli Centro Combustion – Olivotto Ferrè in November 2015 for the engineering, supply and supervision to erection, commissioning and start-up of a new heat treating line at the company’s Bursa location.
This new line will allow to enter the hardening, tempering and normalizing market with a superior quality of annealed bars.

Çemtaş is the second-largest producer of alloyed steel bars in Turkey exporting around 70% of its products to the European automotive industry.

The company has its own steel production and rolling capacities at its Bursa location.

Supply consists in a hardening, normalizing and tempering line composed of:

  • One austenitizing furnace: an innovative solution with inclined, shaped rolls which will be used for hardening and normalizing
  • A spray quench system operating with water and water polymer
  • Ensured bar rotation and minimized bar distortion during the process.
  • One tempering furnace
  • Loading, transferring and unloading tables

An annealing Line consisting in:

  • One roller hearth batch furnace operating under nitrogen atmosphere: no added decarburization
  • Loading and unloading roller tables

A state-of-the-art Level 1 (L1) and Level (L2) automation system and new generation low environmental impact, high performance burners will offer reduced maintenance. Mechanical and metallurgical properties of high quality bars will match the end users specifications.

A strict framework of cooperation between the Çemtaş and Danieli Olivotto Ferrè teams will guarantee smooth and successful execution of the project, in order to achieve all the contractual milestones related to quality, time schedules and performances.
Start-up is foreseen to commence in December 2016.

Source: Danieli Group

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NORDIC STEEL MARKET ROUNDUP FROM MEPS

According to MEPS, domestic steel prices across the Nordic region advanced substantially, between April and May. Increases in hot rolled coil selling figures were driven by rising input costs rather than underlying consumption. Further increments are predicted in the short term.

Spot prices for hot rolled plate climbed steeply and further hikes are expected, in the near future. Despite this, market participants are purchasing cautiously because they anticipate a negative correction later in the year.

Cold rolled coil selling values rose quickly, in May, due to higher raw material costs and a lack of import competition – notably from China. Consumption showed signs of improvement.

Demand appears healthy from the automotive sector in western and northern Europe. Tightening supply is helping the producers achieve price hikes for galvanised coil and sheet. Further increases are expected in the near future.

Wire rod delivery times are lengthening, although there is no apparent upturn in underlying demand. Buyers have reported dramatic rises in ex-mill prices, in May. The producers have, from time to time, withdrawn their offers in order to assess the level of increase that the market will bear.
Customers for structural sections are seeing delivery lead times lengthening. Producers are lifting their offer prices as each month’s rolling schedule is filled. Increasing demand from the construction sector and rising scrap costs are helping the mills push through price increases.

Source: European Steel Review Supplement – May Edition

ILVA orders two hot-metal desulfurization plants from SMS group

Modern technology ensures compliance with exacting environmental standards

Italian steel producer ILVA S.p.A. has awarded SMS group an order for the supply of two hot-metal desulfurization plants for steelworks No. 1 and No. 2 at its Taranto site.

The new plants will be designed according to the latest emission control standards. A special feature of the equipment supplied by SMS group will be the high flexibility of the desulfurization plants’ injection system. Desulfurization agents can be injected in two configurations: lime only (mono-injection) or both lime and magnesium together (co-injection). Commissioning of the plants is planned to take place in the early 2017.

For each plant, SMS group will supply the hoppers for the desulfurization agents, the pneumatic conveying system, the injection system with automatic lance changing equipment, the hot-metal treatment station with dog house and a slag skimming device.

SMS group will also supply a robotic system for handling the probes for sampling and temperature measurements. Also the electrical equipment, instrumentation, automation system and the required process control models will be provided by SMS group.

The project will be handled by two companies of SMS group, SMS INNSE and SMS Mevac, on a semi-turnkey basis (i.e. including on-site assembly).

“ILVA S.p.A. chose SMS group for the high efficiency of the process provided and the advanced technological solutions, which will enable the Italian steel producer to comply even with the most exacting environmental regulations of the future. A further reason was the high flexibility provided by the co-injection process”, says Alberto Bregante, CEO of SMS INNSE S.p.A.

“Our design is based on latest technology developed by SMS over the last few decades while serving more than forty customers worldwide. The current hot-metal desulfurization project is the latest example of our continuing relationship with ILVA since the supply of two RH-OB units including a TOP-lance upgrade. Being an innovative company, SMS Mevac is constantly striving to optimize the design of its plants, its processes and technology. This ensures that our customers always receive premium-quality products from us”, says Markus Hüllen, CEO of SMS Mevac GmbH.

In both of the plants now ordered by ILVA, desulfurization will be effected by a refractory lined immersion lance injecting powdered lime, calcium carbide or magnesium into the hot metal melt. Desulfurizing the hot metal is more economical than desulfurizing the steel later on. Before the treatment, a sample is taken in order to determine the pre-treatment sulfur content of the hot metal. Based on this analysis, the necessary quantities of lime and magnesium are calculated.

As the slag enriched with sulfur must not enter the converter, it is removed from the bath surface by a slag skimming device after the desulfurization process.

After deslagging, the hot metal temperature is measured. Then the ladle will be transferred to the steelmaking shop.

The SMS group is, under the roof of SMS Holding GmbH, a group of companies internationally active in plant construction and mechanical engineering for the steel and nonferrous metals industry. Its 14,000 employees generate sales of over EUR 3,4 bn.

Source: SMS-Group

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Primetals Technologies receives FAC for last of four LD (BOF) converters supplied to JSW Steel

  • Last of four converters started up in January receives final acceptance in April
  • Shut-down work took only 33 instead of 42 days
  • High-temperature creep-resistant materials and a special cooling design ensure a long service life
  • Larger volume reduces less slopping

In April, Indian steelmaker Jindal South West Steel Ltd. (JSW Steel) issued the Final Acceptance Certificate (FAC) for the last of four LD (BOF) converters ordered from Primetals Technologies in September 2014, which had been started up in January. The shut-down lasted only 33 days, nine days less than contractually agreed. The other three converters commenced operation one by one, beginning in September 2015. The converters installed in the Steel Melt Shop no. 2 in Vijayanagar, Toranagallu are made of high-temperature creep-resistant steel. In conjunction with a combined air and water cooling system, this will achieve a long service life. The new converters will have a larger interior volume than the previously used models. This will reduce slopping.

JSW Steel is the leading steel producer in India with an installed capacity of 14.3 million metric tons of steel per annum. Of this total, ten million metric tons are produced alone by the Vijayanagar steel works in Toranagallu, in the State of Karnataka. On account of the high maintenance requirement of the existing LD converters in steel works no. 2, JSW Steel decided to replace them with new converters from Primetals Technologies.

Each converter has a tapping weight of 180 metric tons. Primetals Technologies supplied the converter vessels, including the trunnion rings and suspension systems. All the converters are equipped with bottom-stirring systems. The converters are constructed of high-temperature creep-resistant materials in order to limit heat-related deformations. In conjunction with a specially designed, combined air and water cooling system, this achieves not only a long service life but also reduces maintenance requirements. Each converter has a water-cooled cone cooling system and air cooled trunnion ring. The scope of delivery also included two new tilting drives, two sets new quick-change couplings for top blowing lances, and the complete basic automation (level 1) for the converters. Primetals Technologies also was responsible for supervising the installation and commissioning, and engineered the modifications required to the converter housings.

Source: Primetals

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EU STEEL PRICE RECOVERY CONTINUES IN MAY – FURTHER RISES ANTICIPATED

According to MEPS, An absence of competitively-priced third country import offers enabled European flat product producers to target and secure significant increases, in May. They seized this window of opportunity to try to rectify their huge loss-making situation, which was not sustainable. Over the last month, supply tightness became more acute by the day. Buyers, although amazed by the scale and speed of the price increases, still believe that some short-term potential to support a further hike exists in the market. However, they expect prices to peak in the autumn. The ongoing upward trend in Chinese export prices has gone into reverse, in recent days. If this continues, it could create negative pressure in Europe, later in the year.

German demand is relatively stable, at present, although exports of manufactured goods to Asia and the Middle East weakened. The auto market continues to flourish, with widespread discounting bolstering sales. EU steelmakers continued to ramp up basis values for strip mill products, aided by a lack of any outside competition. Supply on the spot market is constrained and, in some cases, inadequate. However, the larger service centres, having restocked over the last few months, will probably have sufficient material to see them through the summer.

French basis numbers increased very quickly, due to a dearth of imports. Distributors tried to secure tonnages before further rises but certain products are difficult to obtain. Meanwhile, downstream activity remained at a similar level to the first quarter. Nonetheless, end-users started to place orders as they realised that resale values were also moving up.

Italian values strengthened significantly on a lack of import offers and local output issues. The upward movement has been rapid, in May. Quotations from China, Iran and India were far too expensive to interest buyers. Domestic mill delivery lead times lengthened from two to three months. Some customers, concerned that they may not get material in time, are trying to buy more than normal. However, real demand has changed very little. Auto demand is ticking over but is described as ‘not exciting’. Any improvement in building activity is only seasonal. Service centres report that a very large proportion of their customers are not resisting higher resale values.

Price rises have been particularly dramatic, in the UK. Suppliers and buyers feel that another increase of £20 per tonne is possible. Sourcing has proved difficult. Some mainland European mills have reduced allocations to UK customers. Distributors report that sales are good. They can obtain resale prices based on their replacement costs plus profit.

Positive price momentum has continued in Belgium. Mill delivery lead times are long. A number of buyers, both stockholders and end-users, are purchasing more than they need immediately, anticipating further increases in the future. Others report they have been unable to secure sufficient quantities.

The sharp decrease in competitively-priced import offers has led to further rapid advances in the Spanish flat products market. Buyers have started to examine import opportunities for September/October delivery now that local selling values have become so high. However, competitive offers are difficult to locate. Most domestic deliveries are now into August/September. Demand is stable at an acceptable level. Distributors’ inventories have been rebuilt and may even be on the high side, at present. Therefore, many service centres do not need to re-order any large quantities immediately.

Source: MEPS – European Steel Review – May 2016 Issue