Category Archives: Steel Industry News

Global Steel Sector in Turmoil

The implementation of Section 232 by the US authorities has created chaos in steel markets, worldwide. Since the investigation was launched, in April 2017, steel prices have rocketed. MEPS’ reported selling value for the main benchmark product, hot rolled coil, has increased by 40 percent, in North America.

Further tariffs are now being considered, by the US, for imports of a wide range of manufactured goods that have a high steel content. These include automobiles and associated spare parts. Other manufactured goods are under consideration for inclusion in the extended regime.

Numerous retaliatory actions have been announced by trading partners of the US. Furthermore, import restrictions are under consideration, by many national authorities, as they fear the distortion of trade flows. Protectionist measures, which started because of steel imports into the US, may spread around the world and affect a wide range of manufactured goods. This would undo years of careful negotiations towards free trade.

Source: MEPS International Steel Review

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Temporary Safeguard Measures Unsettle EU Steel Market

European buyers of strip mill products were purchasing cautiously, in July, due to the uncertainty linked to trade disputes, political upheaval in several countries and proposed mergers within the industry itself. They were also waiting for clarification regarding the European Commission’s safeguarding investigation. The probe is aimed at preventing steel shipments being redirected to the EU market, as a result of the United States’ imposition of import tariffs under Section 232.

On July 18, the EC announced that provisional safeguard measures will be implemented, covering twenty-three steel product categories. A 25 percent tariff will be imposed above a set quota, based on the average import volumes over the past three years.

During July, a degree of price divergence, between the north and south of Europe, was noted. In Italy, local mills successfully reversed the recent negative price trend. In the remainder of the region, basis values remained stable, with slight negative pressure, as steelmakers accepted a rollover, or marginally lower figures, for September deliveries. However, the producers are pushing strongly for a fourth quarter price hike. MEPS noted some initial resistance to this initiative, particularly from service centres, due to their inability to fully pass on previous increases, to their customers.

Nevertheless, the lack of competitively priced third country imports, plus relatively strong underlying demand in most countries, should put regional mills in a strong position. A price recovery is expected to be accepted during negotiations in late July. At that time, customers will need to book tonnages, in order to replenish stocks after the summer vacation.

Source: MEPS – European Steel Review

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ArcelorMittal Zenica completes EUR 30 million blast furnace reconstruction

EUR 30 million reconstruction of the blast furnace prepares ArcelorMittal Zenica for the next 20 years of steel production.

ArcelorMittal Zenica announces the completion of a EUR 30 million project to rebuild the blast furnace and upgrade other areas of the factory, including the energy, sinter and steel plants and the rolling mill. The latest projects are bringing the total invested in the Zenica plant to over EUR 200 million. The refurbishment means that integrated steel production can continue in Zenica for up to 20 years into the future.

The project’s completion was marked with a ceremony in the heart of the steel works, attended by over 200 distinguished guests, including Prime Minister of the F ederation of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Mr. Fadil Novalic and Mr. Miralem Galijasevic, Prime Minister of Zenica-Doboj Canton. Augustine Kochuparampil and Lutz Bandusch attended on behalf of ArcelorMittal Europe.

Blast Furnace reconstruction

Addressing the guests, Federal Prime Minister Novalic commented: “This is a step that will guarantee competitiveness on a very turbulent steel market. Directly or indirectly, 12,000 people depend on this company, which is beyond doubt the biggest company in Bosnia and Herzegovina.”

Cantonal Prime Minister Galijasevic also welcomed the achievement: “The Zenica-Doboj Canton is the leader of export precisely thanks to ArcelorMittal, which is the backbone of development here. The general repair of the blast furnace is very important for the local economy as ArcelorMittal Zenica is the biggest exporter in Zenica-Doboj canton and Bosnia and Hercegovina.”

The CEO of ArcelorMittal Zenica, Biju Nair underlined the importance of the project to the city’s future: “This is another very important step on our journey to build a long-term, sustainable future for steelmaking in this great industrial city. It underlines our strong and continuing commitment to the future, which begins right here, today.

“We will continue to invest in the infrastructure of the factory, bringing further improvements in our ecological performance and our production capability. At the same time, we will continue to support, develop and encourage the young managers, engineers and production staff who will write the next chapter in the story of steel in Zenica.”

The lead contractor responsible for project delivery was the specialist Dutch company, Danieli Corus, supported by many local contractors.

 

Source: ArcelorMittal

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Trade War Speculation Unsettles Emerging Steel Markets

Brazil

Challenging business conditions persist in Brazil. Domestic buyers remark that the current initiative to lift prices is ill-timed, counterproductive and would only escalate import tonnages.

Russia

Russian trading houses are booking for only immediate requirements due to price fluctuations and working capital problems. Activity deteriorated further, once the 2018 FIFA World Cup started. Shipments to construction and infrastructure projects remain steady, but demand from the commercial and private residential building sector is weak. End-users continue to experience financial problems.

India

In India, steel distributors, operating in southern states, witnessed a fall in business activity with the early onset of the monsoon season. Buyers are reluctant to purchase finished steel material and are waiting for prices to decline. Meanwhile, the Modi government announced that it will impose retaliatory tariffs on US finished steel goods (effective August 4).

Ukraine

The prognosis for the Ukrainian steel market is unchanged. Bearish dealers prefer to wait and observe the current market situation. Buying sentiment is shaped by expectations of further price fluctuations. Exporters lifted selling figures, actioned by an upturn in the cost of billet, slab and steelmaking raw materials.

Turkey

Challenging trading conditions persist in Turkey. Deliveries to downstream steel consuming industries remain slow, amid weak post-Ramadan demand growth and political uncertainty stemming from the country’s presidential and parliamentary elections. Additionally, exporters report that the tariffs on steel, imposed by the United States, have increased the competitiveness of their finished steel products, relative to their Canadian, Mexican and European counterparts.

UAE

Emirati service centres are extremely reluctant to purchase material in, what they deem as, precarious business conditions. Shipments to the construction sector and pipe fabricators remained slow in the trading period. During the summer months, building activity is constrained by high temperatures. Export opportunities are limited outside the GCC region.

South Africa

The trading environment remains downbeat in South Africa. Distributors condemned the latest upward adjustments as “unwarranted” given the current trading climate. Construction activity in the public sector is at a standstill, at present, as the market awaits government decisions on new investments.

Mexico

Purchasing activity remains moderate in Mexico. The majority of local stockists are refraining from signing any contracts at the moment. Shipments of finished steel products to the United States have halted, this month, due to uncertainty over US trade tariffs.

Source: MEPS Developing Markets Steel Review

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Groundbreaking cold rolling technology for Southeast Asia

PT. Sun Rise Mill selects Danieli for the supply of new pickling and cold rolling lines

High-quality Indonesian galvalume sheet producer PT. Sun Rise Mill placed an order with Danieli for the supply of mechanical, technological and automation equipment for a new push-pull pickling line and a 6-high cold rolling reversing mill.

The new push-pull pickling line is designed to be extended to a final production of 600,000 t per year.

The heart of the supply will be the 6-high cold rolling reversing mill, producing 200,000 tpy of high-quality strip with minimum strip thickness of 0.2 mm at a maximum strip width of 1250 mm and maximum tensile strength of 780 N/mm2.

The design of this new mill type is focused on optimizing the operating and maintenance costs, as well as safe and easy operation.

This mill is featuring integrated technologies like Danieli OSRT for best strip flatness tolerances also during thin gauge rolling as well as the new developed Danieli Yield Boost technology for reducing material losses at strip head and tail end by more than 60%, making it the new benchmark in Southeast Asia.

The new lines are expected to start operation beginning of 2020.

Source: Danieli 

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Ruifeng Orders Continuous Hot-Dip Galvanizing Line from SMS Group

350,000 tons per year of galvanized steel strip for the Chinese construction and home appliances industries.

Ruifeng (Shandong Ruifeng Stainless Steel Co.), China, has selected SMS group to supply a continuous hot-dip galvanizing line for steel strip, which is to be erected in Binzhou in the Chinese province of Shandong and is scheduled to start production in the second half of 2019. The new galvanizing line will enable Ruifeng to anneal and galvanize 350,000 tons annually of cold strip that is produced on the company’s own pickling line/tandem mill. To protect it against corrosion the strip will be coated with a layer of zinc or aluminum-zinc. The material will mainly be used for applications in the construction industry and to produce home appliances.

The line is to be completely supplied by SMS group. All mechanical and process-technological components, including furnace and air-knife system, as well as all electrical and automation systems are part of SMS group’s package, too. Also included in the scope of supply is the supervision of erection and commissioning.

The strips to be processed in the line will first run through a cleaning section including electrolytic cleaning segment. Subsequent heat treatment will be accomplished in a horizontal Drever furnace with direct-fired zone and radiant-tube zone. In addition, a DUMA-BANDZINK BASIC Jet air-knife system for the homogeneous and precise thickness setting of the zinc layer will be integrated to meet even extremely high surface quality demands. To be able to coat the strips with both aluminum-zinc or zinc, it is planned to install a change system with two zinc pots. For post-treatment, the line will be equipped with a skin-pass stand, a tension leveler and two vertical roll coaters, as well as an oiling machine in the exit section.

The hot-dip galvanizing line will be designed to process strips up to 1,350 millimeters wide and between 0.30 and 2.0 millimeters thick. The maximum strip speed during the galvanizing process will be 180 meters per minute, whereas in the entry and exit sections maximum speed may reach up to 240 meters per minute. The product range will comprise commercial grades and deep-drawing grades, among others.

Source:  SMS Group

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