Q-MELT® Automatic EAF at Kroman Çelik

Reduced process variability, increased productivity and lower OPEX will be achieved by applying automatically the Best Operating Practices to dynamic process conditions.

Kroman Çelik is one of the largest steel producers in Turkey and is well known all over the world for its outstanding meltshop performances.

In order to enhance EAF competitiveness and performance, Kroman has awarded Danieli an order for a state-of-the-art Q-Melt® Automatic EAF technology, as well as an upgrade of the Chemical Injection System.
Kroman’s EAF will be fitted with the Q-Melt® Dynamic Heat Suite, the module of the Q-Melt® Automatic EAF dedicated to the metallurgical control of the EAF process, which includes:

-Q-REG Plus dynamic electrode regulator with arc coverage control;
-LINDARC in situ gas analyzer with TDLAS laser spectrometer;
-MELT-MODEL process control & optimizer.

The core of the Dynamic Heat Suite is the MELT-MODEL. It interacts with the Q-REG Plus electrode regulator and the LINDARC gas analyzer to continuously control operating conditions by processing chemical and/or electrical profiles to dynamically (and automatically) make the necessary adjustments to the EAF process, always at the best possible practice.
The Melt Model creates optimized furnace profiles using all the main process variables, including charged material properties and slag conditions.

Source: Danieli Group

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MEPS PREDICTS MODEST UPTURN IN GLOBAL STAINLESS STEEL PRICES

The MEPS world average stainless steel price is expected to extend its slow recovery due to rising raw material costs and local supply tightness in several regions. The world average price for 304 cold rolled coil increased, marginally, this month, to a figure just 3.6 per cent below the number recorded one year ago.

Raw material costs are expected to grow, moderately, from their current levels. The LME average nickel price is forecast to be around 15 per cent higher in the coming year than in the previous twelve month period.

Transaction values in Asia are expected to be quite stable, in the next two quarters, before rising gently, boosted by inventory building, to a peak in mid-2017. Selling figures are likely to soften, in the summer months.

In Europe, increases in basis prices are likely to be restricted, over the next twelve months, by surplus production capacity and competition from imports. Predicted increases in mill input expenditure should lead to rising transaction values, in early 2017. A seasonal, downward price trend is anticipated as the summer holiday period approaches.

In North America, US government tariffs on Asian imports will continue to tighten supply of cold rolled coil and put upward pressure on basis figures. Anticipated rises in raw material costs should result in further increases in transaction values, during the first half of next year. The effective price for type 304 cold rolled coil is forecast to be 6 per cent higher, in August 2017, than this month’s figure.

Source: MEPS – Stainless Steel Review – August Issue

TRADE CASES ARE TRANSFORMING THE GLOBAL STEEL INDUSTRY – MEPS

According to MEPS, the sustainability of the recent global steel price recovery is likely to depend on supply-side considerations. The success of trade actions, amid a steady demand outlook will be important.

From MEPS research, in August, a number of US steel buyers remarked that the American market is becoming increasingly ‘protectionist’. The introduction of trade barriers on a number of flat products supported domestic producers, by restricting imports. This helped propel steel prices to financially viable levels for most US steel mills.

Many market participants and even end-users conceded that local values needed to rise from their historically low levels, with the assistance of trade petitions, to safeguard the long-term interests of the US steel industry. However, protection comes at a cost – the restriction of consumer choice. Exporters could also be threatened by reciprocal action by the named countries.

This month, the US Department of Commerce set final antidumping duties on hot rolled flat steel from Australia, Brazil, Japan, South Korea, the Netherlands, Turkey, and the UK, for five years.

The current differential between US domestic steel prices and international selling figures is likely to encourage more steel shipments, from countries not covered by the trade petitions, in the second half of the year. With other trade cases pending, US imports are at relatively low levels, but they have risen in recent months.

From MEPS research, in August, it was noted that value-added imports from Vietnam have become more readily available during the past four weeks. Other countries are likely to follow their lead.

One steel buyer labelled the US as the “go-to market” and said that a rise in imports will put negative pressure on domestic prices, which are already down from June highs. With this likelihood, new trade actions could be lodged by US producers. However, such measures will only provide a short-term solution. Until the issue of global overcapacity is addressed, it is likely that world steel prices will continue to be under negative pressure.

With the support of trade cases, global steel prices steadily rose, during the first half of the year. MEPS has long predicted that until crude steel production capacity is removed from the world scene, prices will continue on a downward trend into the future.

We do not expect global prices to fall to late 2015/early 2016 levels. Steelmakers are likely to retain a proportion of the increases that they successfully secured in the first six months of the year.

Source: MEPS International Steel Review – August 2016 Issue

DEVELOPING MARKETS STEEL PRICE ROUNDUP FROM MEPS

Brazilian distributors have condemned the latest upward mill price offers given the current trading climate. They are forecasting an upturn in import tonnages as a result.

The business climate in the Russian Federation remains arduous. Trading houses are divided over the outlook for domestic steel quotations in the September-October period.

The trading environment is unchanged in India. Stockists plan to postpone purchases until the pricing scenario is more transparent. We note little appetite for purchasing at present amongst construction firms. Importers remain highly critical of the government’s decision to renew its minimum import price mandates and instigate new provisional safeguard duties.

Chinese traders plan to persevere with cautious procurement strategies, next month, despite it traditionally being the peak season for steel consumption. The majority stress that the recent upward trend in domestic mill transaction values is unsustainable and does not reflect real demand. Support from export customers is mixed.

Ukrainian steelmakers struggled to adapt to the current domestic trading environment. Shipments to industrial companies, in August, were weaker than forecast, particularly to tube and pipe fabricators.

In Turkey, the domestic steelmakers failed to enforce price rises in weeks 31 and 32, despite a speculative rebound in the cost of ferrous scrap and billet. End-user groups are only purchasing material for immediate needs.

Demand for construction steel in the United Arab Emirates remains muted. Domestic steelmakers are finding it difficult to obtain a satisfactory price for their September rolling campaigns. Risk-adverse traders plan to retain minimum inventory in the interim.

Underlying demand in South Africa has weakened and shows no signs of picking up in the near future. End-users remain adamant that local price quotations are too high.

Buying sentiment is unchanged in Mexico. Stockists intend to maintain their conservative inventory levels and closely monitor the domestic/import price premium. The recent depreciation of the national currency against the US dollar has only exacerbated the situation. The National Chamber of Iron and Steel Industry (CANACERO) has welcomed the Ministry of Economy’s decision to set antidumping duties on wire rod and coated flat steel imports.

Source: MEPS – Developing Markets Steel Review – August Edition

Hoa Phat Steel Sheet orders a new cold mill complex from Danieli

High-quality products meeting Japanese, European, Australian and American standards.

Hoa Phat Steel Sheet has awarded Danieli with the order for the design and supply of all the equipment for a new cold strip complex to produce 600,000 tpy of pickled/cold-rolled/ galvanized coils, with final thickness down to 0.14 mm.

The new plant to be built in the region of Hanoi will include a push-pickling line for 600,000 tpy, two cold reversing mills for 200,000 tpy each and two hot dip galvanizing lines for 150,000 and 350,000 tpy.

Hoa Phat Steel Sheet will produce high-quality cold-rolled galvanized products meeting JIS 3321: 2010 (JP), BS-EN 10346: 2009 (EU) Europe, AS 1397: 2001 (AU), and ASTM A792 (US) standards.

Conceived for an environmental-friendly production, the cold complex will incorporate all the latest technology developed by Danieli Wean United and related business units such as Danieli Kohler for the Air Wiping System, Danieli Centro Combustion for the Annealing Furnaces and Danieli Automation for all the electrical and automation supply.

Among the most relevant technologies which will be provided, and that are also available on the market as “Danieli technological packages”, we mention: the Automatic Flatness Control for the cold rolling, the X-Jet for air wiping system for the best control of the zinc coating, the Save-Cut for all the cutting and trimming processes, the Q-Surface for improving the shape and elongation of material.

Perfect control of any line will be ensured by Danieli Automation Hi-PAC system based on IPC solution and Ethercat fieldbus technology.

All the key technological equipment will be supplied by Danieli quality workshops in Italy and Asia.

The commissioning of the complex is foreseen by the end of 2017.

Source: Danieli Group

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ROLLER COASTER RIDE FOR EU STEEL PRICES IN LAST TWELVE MONTHS

The last twelve months was a turbulent period for steel purchasing in the European Union. The MEPS – EU average flat products composite steel selling price declined by €83 per tonne (17.5 percent), in the second half of last year.

By December 2015, domestic transaction figures had fallen to a twelve-year low. Substantial import pressure, both in terms of value and volume, forced domestic mills continually to reduce their price offers. The negative situation was compounded by falling raw material costs, nervous buyers anticipating further price reductions and a seasonal slowdown in demand. This created a perfect storm for the price collapse.

Activity in the European steel market remained muted at the beginning of 2016, with little prospect of a significant recovery in selling figures. A dramatic “volte-face” in pricing strategy by Chinese steelmakers brought a halt to the race to the bottom in global steel prices and transformed the outlook across the whole international steel scene.

Production cuts earlier in the year, low inventories throughout the supply chain and a seasonal pickup in demand provided the backdrop to a rapid rise in domestic Chinese steel prices. The government’s policy of large-scale monetary easing boosted construction activity. It also had the effect of driving up the futures market and increasing trader speculation. This scenario encouraged Chinese producers to hike their export offer prices.

The substantial losses previously made by the majority of the Chinese mills could not be tolerated for a significantly longer period of time. Furthermore, with the volume of China’s exports rising rapidly, at prices often below domestic values, the profitability of the policy was deteriorating over time.

Moreover, charges of dumping were bringing to the forefront claims of unfair trading from steel suppliers in a wide range of countries. These were undermining China’s attempts to show that it was operating a market economy within the regulations of the World Trade Organisation.

As Chinese export prices surged, many other major exporters, including those in the CIS, South Korea and Brazil, followed China’s lead and hiked their prices. Faced with unattractive import quotations, many buyers in Europe returned to domestic sources for their purchasing requirements. Consequently, European steelmakers captured a greater share of the local market and regained a degree of pricing power.

The mills took the opportunity to boost their profitability, after margins fell to an unsustainably low level at the beginning of the year. The MEPS – EU average flat products composite steel price jumped by €124 per tonne (31 percent), in the second quarter of this year. Selling figures then softened by €15 per tonne ahead of the summer holidays, in July.

The negative price sentiment, witnessed immediately before the long vacation period, has turned more positive. We have reports that strip mill product manufacturers are planning to raise their offer prices for September negotiations. Steelmakers hope to capitalise on tight availability within Europe and the recent uptick in the Chinese domestic steel market.

MEPS predicts that the short-term price trend will be stable, with increases difficult to achieve. We forecast that selling figures will decline in the final quarter of this year. Supply is expected to improve, in what is traditionally a slack season for demand. Furthermore, competitively-priced offers from overseas suppliers and low steelmaking raw material costs are forecast to exert negative pressure on local transaction values.

Despite the anticipated price reductions, MEPS believes that steel selling figures will remain above the low levels recorded in late 2015 / early 2016.

Source: MEPS – European Steel Review – August 2016 Issue