EU STAINLESS STEEL MARKET ROUNDUP FROM MEPS

Stainless hot rolled coil and plate demand is weak in Western Europe. The market has been subdued, in Italy, since the end of the summer holidays. Market basis figures have slipped, despite the efforts of some EU mills to lift them.

The UK plate market continues to subside. Business has failed to pick up following the summer vacation period. With the price believed to be close to the bottom of the current cycle, the subdued buying activity suggests a lack of confidence in future demand. Post-holiday purchase volumes are also poor in Spain and transaction values keep falling.

Buyers in Western Europe comment that the effect of the EU antidumping measures against cold rolled material from China and Taiwan has been dampened by excess production capacity and poor demand in the region. There have been small reductions to domestic basis numbers, for this product, in Italy.

Sales activity for cold rolled coil was higher than expected, in September, in the UK but has dropped off substantially since then. Demand is poor – described by one market participant as “like a recession”. The antidumping measures are failing to have a positive effect on local selling values in Spain.

Source: MEPS – Stainless Steel Review – September Issue

Klöckner & Co acquires US sheet metal fabrication company American Fabricators

  • Highly profitable company with annual sales of around USD 30 million
  • Entry into sheet metal fabrication as next strategic step following expansion of service center activities
  • Higher value-added depth and greater integration into customers’ production processes

Duisburg, Germany, October 1, 2015 – Through its US country organization Kloeckner Metals Corporation, Klöckner & Co has acquired the US sheet metal fabrication company American Fabricators based in Nashville, Tennessee/USA.

American Fabricators specializes in the professional fabrication of sheets into complex parts for customers from a wide range of different industries. The company operates state-of-the-art machinery on production facilities spanning some 10,000 square meters. With around 150 employees the highly profitable enterprise generates annual sales of around USD 30 million. The parties agreed not to disclose the value of the transaction. Consolidation will take place from the start of the fourth quarter of 2015.

“Having expanded our service center activities in the US to a significant degree, we are now entering the higher value-added segment of sheet metal fabrication. This means that through greater integration into our customers’ production processes, we will be participating more and more from value creation in the manufacturing of complex sheet metalcomponents. In this regard, the acquisition of American Fabricators not only marks a milestone in implementing this strategy in the south-east of the US. The process expertise gained can also be channeled into creating value in other regions of the US and even at European locations,” says Gisbert Rühl, CEO of Klöckner & Co SE.

Source: Klöckner & Co

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SSI UK Announcement

Further to the announcement made on 18th September with regard to a pause in production, SSI UK regret to announce that after a further evaluation and assessment of the situation facing the Business, it has concluded that they are faced with no other option but to mothball its iron and steel making facilities on Teesside. The Redcar Coke Ovens and the Power Station will continue to operate.

This decision has had to be taken against a continuing background of poor steel trading conditions across the globe and the consequential severe deterioration in steel prices experienced during the course of 2015, together with the view that this is unlikely to change in the short term. We will continue to work with various stakeholders, including Government with the objective of restarting operations at Teesside at some point in the future. As a further consequence of the mothballing, it is proposed to reduce by c1700 employees, including those affected by the mothballing of the South Bank Coke Ovens which was announced previously. Consultation with the Trade Unions and Employee Representatives will commence as soon as possible.

Cornelius Louwrens, UK Business Director and Chief Operating Officer said;

“This is an extremely sad day for all of us at SSI UK, and in particular our employees and their families. Together with our parent company and the various other stakeholders, they have worked so hard in their endeavours to try and make this business successful. Despite the significant progress we made in the financial performance of the Business during 2014, market conditions this year have been extremely challenging and unfortunately this has led to the decision we are announcing today.

I would like to pay tribute to and thank everyone connected with SSI UK for their great support. My wish is that this facility can once again restart operations and fulfil the potential of the plant and its loyal workforce”

Source: SSI UK

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