Excellent Startup for Acciaierie Di Verona New High-Speed Wire Rod Mill

  • It features all Danieli latest technologies, including 4th generation loop layers and advanced automation for best OpEx and quality consistency

The new high-speed wire rod mill of Acciaierie di Verona (Pittini Group) produced the first coil 19 months after the contract signature.

The timely start-up and the following hot-test period of 7 weeks, during which 25.000 tons of finished wire rod in quality have been produced, reflects the long-term cooperation between Pittini Group and Danieli. Strict end-product size tolerances have been reached from the very beginning.

Equipped with the most advanced wire rod technologies and in full compliance with Industry 4.0 requirements, the plant produces 750,000 tpy of plain wire rod from 5.5 to 25 mm and rebar from 6 to 18 mm at rolling speed of 100 m/sec.

The mill is characterized by a high-speed rougher feeding two independent rolling lines consisting of cantilever roll stands, featuring quick roll changes and temperature control along the mill and downstream.

High-speed shears, installed downstream the multi-drive high-speed twin-module sizing blocks, perform wire rod head and tail cropping.

The fourth-generation loop layers guarantee extended pipe life, quick rotor changes, and no vibration during rolling, resulting perfect loops from heads to tails.

The variable-pitch cooling conveyor features modular slow-to-ultrafast cooling

The Danieli Automation Q3 Intelligence system is used for integrated data collection of the whole plant, analysis, and web reporting with Key Performance Indicators and powerful statistical tools to support decision making.

The new plant automation ensures consistent product quality consistency, high utilization factor and yield, and workshop coordination, and establishes a link to Big Data and plant digitalization practices.

The Acciaierie di Verona wire rod mill is the 500th rolling mill supplied by Danieli.

Source: Danieli

Government Measures Disturb International Stainless Steel Trade

The global flow of stainless steel products has been negatively affected by the introduction of new trade barriers, in recent years. MEPS predicts that more disruption is possible.

Section 232 Quotas and Tariffs

The imposition of antidumping duties, by the US authorities, severely reduced shipments of stainless steel sheets and coils from China. Subsequently, Section 232 quotas and tariffs restricted imports from many other countries – notably, those in the Far East.

These actions were, clearly, intended to reduce the volume of purchases from overseas suppliers, and create opportunities for US steelmakers to increase their sales, expand production and employ more people. In fact, the major outcome has been price inflation in the domestic stainless steel market, raising costs for US customers. Furthermore, many imported products remain competitive, even after the application of duties or tariffs.

Local market observers believed that the Section 232 measures would be removed, in the short-to-medium term, following the achievement of various trade-related goals, by the US government. This prospect, however, is receding and the controls are likely to remain in place for the foreseeable future.

European Commission Safeguarding Measures

The European Commission reacted with safeguarding measures, to prevent third country tonnages, previously intended for the US market, from being diverted to the EU. Quotas were introduced, for individual products, for an initial 200-day period, based on recent average import tonnages. Recent figures show that, at the current rate, shipments of several products, including stainless steel bars and wire rod, are likely to exceed the quotas, and, consequently, incur tariffs. Purchasing behaviour is being adapted, accordingly.

Further uncertainty stems from the United Kingdom’s exit from the European Union. The “divorce” agreement, negotiated by the UK government and the EU, has yet to be accepted by the British parliament. Businesses must explore contingency plans.

Source : MEPS Stainless Steel Review – November Issue

Steel Dynamics Announces a New Organic Flat Roll Steel Mill Investment

FORT WAYNE, Ind. – Steel Dynamics, Inc. (NASDAQ/GS: STLD) today announced that its Board of Directors has authorized the company to construct a new state-of-the-art, electric-arc-furnace (EAF) flat roll steel mill in the United States.  The facility is anticipated to have an annual production capacity of approximately 3.0 million tons with the capability to produce the latest generation of Advanced High Strength Steel products.  The project will include value-added finishing lines, including a galvanizing line with an annual capacity of 450,000 tons, and a paint line with an annual coating capacity of 250,000 tons.  The product offering is anticipated to include various flat roll steel products, including hot roll, cold roll, galvanized, Galvalume® and painted steel, primarily serving the energy, automotive, construction, and appliance sectors.  The current estimated investment is $1.7 billion to $1.8 billion, with anticipated direct job creation of approximately 600 well-paying positions, and numerous opportunities for indirect job growth from other support service providers.

The company currently expects to locate the facility in the southwestern United States, to cost effectively serve not only the southern United States, but also the underserved Mexican flat roll steel market.  Determination of the final site location is subject to state and local government infrastructure and incentive support.  Upon final site selection and the receipt of required environmental and operating permits, the company would expect to begin construction in 2020, followed by the commencement of operations in the second half of 2021.

“We believe our unique operating culture, coupled with our considerable experience in successfully constructing and operating cost-effective and highly profitable steel mills, positions us well to execute this greenfield opportunity, and to deliver strong long-term value creation. We plan to utilize new technologies that will further reduce the gap between existing EAF and integrated steel mill production capabilities.  We are excited to announce this investment, which is a culmination of our intentional focus to cost effectively further serve the customers in this growing flat roll steel consuming region, while increasing our steelmaking capacity and value-added product capability.  As a site location is finalized and equipment negotiations are completed, we look forward to updating you on this important strategic initiative.”

Mark. D. Millett, President and Chief Executive Officer.

The company believes this planned growth investment is differentiated and supported by the following key competitive and strategic advantages:

Safety and Culture
  • This investment will benefit from Steel Dynamics’ focus on safety, its low-cost operating framework and entrepreneurial performance-based incentive culture.
Geographic Diversification
  • The new facility will serve the growing southern U.S. energy and construction sectors, which consume considerable amounts of flat roll steel products.
  • The new facility will also serve the growing steel consuming northern and mid-central regions of Mexico, which consume considerable amounts of flat roll steel products for the automotive and appliance sectors.
  • The site will have a significant competitive edge in the region, with meaningful regional freight cost and logistics advantages.
Product Quality and Diversification
  • The new facility will be designed with state-of-the-art technologies to produce the highest strength steels available to more comprehensively serve the automotive, energy and equipment sectors.
  • The new technology will allow for greater steel product optionality, including the use of thicker slabs and greater width capabilities, to increase product quality and finished product application alternatives.
Organic Growth Success Track Record
  • Steel Dynamics’ employees and its executive leadership have extensive experience constructing and operating EAF steel mills and downstream value-add finishing lines.
Sustainability
  • This project will provide meaningful well-paying U.S. jobs and talent development opportunities, with safety and sustainability as a primary focus.
  • Consistent with existing Steel Dynamics’ EAF steel mills, this new steel mill will provide an energy efficient, lower environmental impact steelmaking alternative, compared to average typical global steelmaking technologies in use today.

About Steel Dynamics, Inc. 

Steel Dynamics is one of the largest domestic steel producers and metals recyclers in the United States based on estimated annual steelmaking and metals recycling capability, with facilities located throughout the United States, and in Mexico.  Steel Dynamics produces steel products, including hot roll, cold roll, and coated sheet steel, structural steel beams and shapes, rail, engineered special-bar-quality steel, cold finished steel, merchant bar products, specialty steel sections and steel joists and deck.  In addition, the company produces liquid pig iron and processes and sells ferrous and nonferrous scrap.

Forward-Looking Statements  

This press release contains some predictive statements about future events, including statements related to conditions in the steel and metallic scrap markets, Steel Dynamics’ revenues, costs of purchased materials, future profitability and earnings, and the operation of new or existing facilities. These statements, which we generally precede or accompany by such typical conditional words as “anticipate,” “intend,” “believe,” “estimate,” “plan,” “seek,” “project” or “expect,” or by the words “may,” “will,” or “should,” are intended to be made as “forward-looking,” subject to many risks and uncertainties, within the safe harbor protections of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These statements speak only as of this date and are based upon information and assumptions, which we consider reasonable as of this date, concerning our businesses and the environments in which they operate. Such predictive statements are not guarantees of future performance, and we undertake no duty to update or revise any such statements. Some factors that could cause such forward-looking statements to turn out differently than anticipated include: (1) the effects of uncertain economic conditions; (2) cyclical and changing industrial demand; (3) changes in conditions in any of the steel or scrap-consuming sectors of the economy which affect demand for our products, including the strength of the non-residential and residential construction, automotive, manufacturing, appliance, pipe and tube, and other steel-consuming industries; (4) fluctuation in the cost of key raw materials and supplies (including steel scrap, iron units, and energy costs) and our ability to pass on any cost increases; (5) the impact of domestic and foreign import price competition; (6) unanticipated difficulties in integrating or starting up new or acquired businesses or assets; (7) risks and uncertainties involving product and/or technology development; and (8) occurrences of unexpected plant outages or equipment failures.

Source: Steel Dynamics, Inc.

Trading Activity Deteriorates in the Emerging Steel Markets

South Africa

The South African steel market has entered a period of low seasonal demand. Shipment volumes to downstream industries are forecast to be muted after the country’s four-week Christmas shutdown period. Meanwhile, the US Department of Commerce has announced Section 232 exemptions for thirty-six steel products, from South Africa – included are hot and cold rolled sheet.

Brazil

In Brazil, downstream demand is sluggish as buyers adopt a cautious attitude. The local mills are actively looking for an opportunity to boost finished steel selling values. Imports are becoming more attractive, but few deals are being concluded because delivery would fall in the Christmas season.

Russia

Russian stockists are wary of holding too much inventory into the country’s December-January period. Winter trading protocols are being enforced. The downtrend in domestic steel consumption is expected to gather momentum next month. Construction-related steel demand is slowing down.

India

Buying activity is lacklustre in the Indian steel market. Domestic mills have started to offer discounts and rebates to facilitate sales. Despite this, stockists are hesitant about placing forward orders, highlighting that sales volumes were weaker than projected, in the period following the Diwali festival. Moreover, construction activity is limited. Export quotations have fallen, in the wake of the slump in global steel prices.

Ukraine

Construction activity in Ukraine is expected to slow down next month. Local trading houses plan to persevere with conservative inventory levels. End-users are waiting for selling figures to fall further. Price support from overseas markets is negligible.

Turkey

The prognosis for the Turkish steel market is unchanged. Steelmakers conceded further discounts, during recent negotiations with customers in the general market. Further erosion cannot be ruled out. Service centres are keen to reduce their stocks, wary that sales activity is dull in the December-January trading period.

UAE

Business confidence is deteriorating, in the United Arab Emirates. Stockists and traders are buying only what they need to cover immediate orders, citing the availability of foreign material at the ports and moderate domestic consumption. The construction sector is exhibiting no signs of improvement. Offers from neighbouring GCC countries shadow Asian quotations.

Mexico

Mexican distributors are delaying purchases, until January. They expect transaction values to soften further. Steelmakers are faced with a dilemma – maintain or downgrade planned production targets. A number of significant public construction projects have been put on hold, this month.

Source: MEPS Developing Markets Steel Review – November Issue

Falling Chinese Steel Prices Raise Global Fears

Despite the recent price recovery, world steelmakers will continue to be concerned about the future policies of the Chinese mills. In recent years, Chinese steel manufacturers were criticised for selling their excess supply, in global markets, at low prices.

The Chinese government’s measures, to cut capacity and curb pollution, have played a leading role in raising steel prices, worldwide. However, the mandated winter production cuts are unlikely to have the same impact as they had in previous years.

Chinese steel demand has been relatively firm, this year, and this encouraged mills in the country to raise their production. In fact, China’s National Bureau of Statistics reported that domestic crude steel output, in the first ten months of 2018, increased by 6.4 percent, year-on-year. However, MEPS understands that local demand has slowed down, markedly, in recent months.

Due to weakening domestic market fundamentals, it is predicted that Chinese suppliers will turn to traditional export markets. Competition from new local steelmaking facilities, in those regions, and major exporters, in Turkey, Russia and India, is fierce. It is possible that vast quantities of material will enter the global steel market, as a result.

The current trade legislation, implemented in North America, via Section 232, and in Europe, through the European Commission’s safeguarding measures, will afford regional steelmakers a degree of protection, against low-cost imports. However, MEPS forecasts that oversupply will continue to be a factor on the global steel scene. This will, undoubtedly, threaten the sustainability of the recent price revival, during the course of next year.

Source: MEPS International Steel Review – November Issue

European Steel Demand Slows in November – Prices Under Negative Pressure

EU Steel

European strip mill product prices were revised downwards, in November. Cheap offers from Turkish suppliers are undermining market confidence. Overall, sentiment is weakening. Buyers fear that the global economy is slowing down. European steel demand is quiet, partly for seasonal reasons, as many companies require year-end stocks to be as low as possible. In addition, the new automotive testing procedures have significantly reduced fourth quarter steel demand from that sector, albeit, probably, temporarily.

Existing inventories, particularly at the service centres, are sufficient, for now, due to the arrival of overseas material, ordered earlier in the year. This allows buyers to postpone purchasing decisions until the future pricing trend becomes clear. Consequently, European steel mill order intake has declined, considerably. Domestic delivery lead times are no longer extended. Indeed, a number of buyers report material being delivered earlier than anticipated.

Germany

Order placement slowed, in Germany, in November, particularly for auto-related applications. Buyers are reluctant to procure material for stock purposes, owing to year-end financial considerations. End-users are asking distributors for discounts. Inventories at the service centres are plentiful, enabling buyers to adopt a ‘wait and see’ attitude. Import offers are more competitive than in recent months. Domestic strip mill product prices suffered further negative adjustments, in November.

France

Currently, activity on the French strip mill products market is slow, with basis values weakening, as a result. Meanwhile, EU suppliers continue to pursue price rises, as negotiations for annual and half-year contracts, with the car industry, are underway. Automotive demand, for 2019, is expected to pick up at the beginning of next year. In the general market, selling figures declined further, in November.

Italy

A sharp reduction in new orders led to a further fall in Italian manufacturing output, in October. Economic concerns, plus the government’s confrontation with the European Commission, resulted in sluggish steel demand and downward price pressure on strip mill products. Inventories at the service centres are high, as end-users purchase only small quantities. Resale margins are poor. Imports are competitive, as Turkish, Indian, Chinese and South Korean suppliers return to the market. Should their offers become more attractive, orders may be placed for 2019 arrival. At the moment, most companies are trying to destock before the year-end.

United Kingdom

Activity in the UK’s manufacturing sector fell, in October. The country’s impending EU exit is causing growing uncertainty in business circles. Subdued consumption, by the vehicle manufacturers, is problematic for steel suppliers. Strip mill product basis numbers softened further, due to poor demand and pressure to match import offers, particularly from Turkish sources.

Belgium

Belgian market values weakened further, in mid/late October. Since then, stabilisation was noted. Buyers believe that increases are unlikely before the end of the year, as the economy slows. Some mills still have availability for orders to be produced in the final quarter. Consumer demand is subdued. Many distributors are only purchasing replacement material, as they postpone buying decisions as they wait to see how prices will evolve. Much will depend on third country imports and pressure from southern Europe.

Spain

Spanish manufacturing continued to expand, during October. In the steel market, EU producers adjusted prices downwards, for January 2019 deliveries. The move was driven by the continuing decline of import prices, for shipments into the beginning of next year. The market is quiet, as buyers monitor new developments. Many are slow to purchase as they have sufficient material, either in stock, or already on order.

Source: MEPS International Ltd – MEPS European Steel Review