Tag Archives: 2014

CHINA’S STEEL EXPORTS TO STAY STRONG THIS YEAR AFTER RECORD TONNAGE IN 2014 – MEPS

Customs data shows total Chinese exports of steel products, last year, rea ched an “all-time” high figure of almost 94 million tonnes.ChinaExports This equates to a year-on-year increase of more than 50 percent. To put the latest figures into context, Chinese steel exports in 2014 were equivalent to 90 percent of the total output from the world’s second largest producing nation – Japan, over the same period.

The removal of tax rebates on boron-added steel exports is likely to result in a slight reduction in supply in 2015. This is because substitute alloying elements for boron are more costly – thus making the resultant alloy steel marginally more expensive in the market.

However, Chinese mills have built up a solid customer base around the world through their ability to offer competitively priced steel products. They will be difficult to dislodge from their dominant position in global steel trade.

Moreover, the latest steel export price reductions will help their cause. Product quality from the Chinese mills has improved significantly in recent years and is fit for purpose for a wide range of applications in the engineering and construction industries.

Source: MEPS China Steel Review – January Edition

CHINESE AUTHORITIES TAKE FIRST STEP IN IMPROVING STEEL STATISTICS

At last, the Chinese steel sector has moved to rectify errors in its reporting of steel production. However, there remains much more work to be done before the industry can show that it takes, seriously, the need to provide accurate statistics.

The interested parties include raw material suppliers, steel consumers, local government officials responsible for environmental issues and many other associations which need to assess future trends within the industry.

Whereas the accuracy of the crude steel output data has been improved for the 2013 calendar year, historic figures are unchanged – thus creating false information about growth rates. Furthermore, pig iron production statistics have not been updated. This means that the relationship between iron making and steel manufacturing is not correctly presented.

It would appear that the authorities who have been given the responsibility for the collection of steel statistics have little regard for the accuracy of the data or the needs of the institutions which require such information for guidance in their predictions.

Typically, accurate growth trends in iron and steel production gives valuable information about future investment required to prevent excessive air and water pollution. With better information in the past about real steel production, perhaps, the current situation in Hebei Province could have been avoided. More accurate steel output data may have flagged up the large amount of air pollution likely to come from both the old and new capacity being installed.

Source: MEPS China Steel Review – December Edition

ArcelorMittal to invest €15m at its Bourg-en-Bresse plant to support the development of its customer Technip

Bourg-en-Bresse, 26 November 2014 – ArcelorMittal, the world’s leading steel and mining company, will invest €15m to expand the production capacity of its plant at Bourg-en-Bresse and support the development of its customer Technip, a world leader in project management, engineering and construction for the energy industry.

The initial partnership agreement signed in 2013 has been extended in duration and volume.

The plant will also strengthen its team with the recruitment of around 20 people.

In 2015, the Bourg-en-Bresse plant will be equipped with a new heat treatment furnace and a new rolling mill.

In September 2013, ArcelorMittal was chosen by Technip to supply high-performance, high-strength steels used in the manufacture of flexible pipes for the development of deepwater and ultra-deepwater oil and gas fields, particularly at depths in excess of 1500 metres. The five-year partnership agreement(1) between ArcelorMittal and Technip, the largest European contract for ArcelorMittal’s wire business, has been extended by two years.

The partnership agreement signed in 2013 sustained the operations of the Bourg-en-Bresse plant, and this agreement extension will reinforce it.

ArcelorMittal Bourg-en-Bresse has become Technip’s supplier of choice for high-end technological and innovative solutions. The site supplies Technip flexible pipe manufacturing plants located in France, Brazil and Malaysia.

The commercial contract comes with a research and innovation contract that strengthens technological progress at the Bourg-en-Bresse plant. The Bourg-en-Bresse plant is developing new wire solutions tailored to Technip’s requirements.

ArcelorMittal is now the centre of excellence for the production of steel wire for flexible pipes for the buoyant offshore market. It also demonstrates that the group and its French production sites can market ever better products in response to customers’ requirements and the challenges that they face.

Patrick Laudamy, CEO of ArcelorMittal Bourg-en-Bresse, said: “This investment demonstrates ArcelorMittal’s confidence in the technical speciality markets. In one year, the Bourg-en-Bresse plant has become Technip’s preferred partner for the supply of high-strength steels. Today, we are strengthening our teams and our production capacity to support our customer. We will also pursue our research and innovation efforts in order to offer our customers increasingly high-performance products.”

“ArcelorMittal provides us with an indisputable competitive advantage in the market.  Technology and innovation are an integral part of the design of our flexible pipes and we therefore invest in R&D and pay particular attention to the quality of our supply chain. The contract that we are extending today forms part of this approach. We are proud to strengthen our partnership with ArcelorMittal and thus contribute to enabling it to expand the production capacity of its Bourg-en-Bresse plant,” added Jean-François Niel, Group SVP Global Manufacturing, Technip.

(1) the contract awarded to ArcelorMittal by Technip has a value in excess of €200million

Source: ArcelorMittal

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SOUTH KOREA STEEL MARKET ROUNDUP FROM MEPS INTERNATIONAL

According to MEPS, import volumes of hot rolled coil, in South Korea, are soaring at the same time as domestic output escalates as Posco’s new hot strip mill comes on stream. This, combined with sluggish demand, is creating negative price pressure. However, after conceding a large discount in September, local producers have managed to maintain selling values.

In September, domestic shipbuilders fell behind their Japanese rivals in winning new orders for the third time this year, disadvantaged by the weakening yen. Local selling values for commodity plate have come under further pressure, down by 2.5 percent since our last report. There is severe internal competition, together with attractive import offers.

Although sales, of cold rolled coil, to local distributors are poor, demand from the automakers has picked up as their output revives. However, there is strong competition from Chinese cold rolled coil imports, which continue to swell in volume. During recent negotiations, customers have won another decrease.

Domestic car sales are improving, where auto output rose again in September, year-on-year. Export business is also healthy. However, there has been no substantial revival in construction demand for coated steel and the local electronics industry remains dull. Steelmakers have been forced to accept lower prices in the general market.

September’s rise in the wire rod market proved to be short lived. Selling values have now reverted to their recent downward tendency, in a lethargic trading environment.

Hyundai has failed in its efforts to lift its structural section selling values by the proposed KRW30,000 per tonne, but customers have accepted a portion of the rise. There is still a threat from Chinese exporters, despite the instigation of an anti-dumping investigation.

Declining scrap costs have encouraged Hyundai Steel, to cut rebar list prices by KRW5000 per tonne for fourth quarter contracts. In the marketplace, last month’s small improvement lasted a short time. Demand remains slow and selling figures have lost 3.3 percent.

Source: MEPS International Steel Review – October Issue

GLOBAL STAINLESS STEEL OUTPUT IN 2014 TO BE ANOTHER RECORD HIGH – MEPS

World crude stainless steel production is predicted to reach an all-time high of 41 million tonnes in calendar year 2014. This represents a 7.8 percent increase on the previous record figure, set last year.

Amongst the established stainless steelmaking regions, total output for 2014 is forecast to be higher than last year in the EU, United States, Japan and Taiwan but lower in South Korea. Production in all these countries remains below the peak figures recorded in 2006.

Chinese output continues on a steady, upward trend. The proportion of the world’s stainless steel made in China has increased from 18.5 percent in 2006 to an estimated 51 percent in 2014.

Demand in the EU has been strong during the summer but has now begun to slow. Nevertheless, year-on-year output is forecast to grow by 6.4 percent, to 7.6 million tonnes, in 2014.

The economic recovery in the United States continues to gather pace. Stainless steel production is expected to total 2.2 million tonnes in 2014 – 8.4 percent more than last year.

Japan’s 2014 outturn is foreseen at 3.375 million tonnes, representing a healthy, year-on-year increase of 6.3 percent. Another disappointing result is anticipated for South Korea. The 2014 total is likely to be 1.6 percent less than last year’s figure.

Source: MEPS – Stainless Steel Review – October Issue

voestalpine expands in China with a new plant in the special steel segment

The technology and capital goods group voestalpine is again driving forward its activities in the promising Asian market. The Special Steel Division, the Group’s special steel sector, yesterday signed a Letter of Intent to cooperate with Chinese foundry Kocel Machinery Co., LTD. Over the next few years voestalpine will invest around EUR 140 million, constructing a new plant which will produce premium special steel products for the Chinese market. Construction is scheduled to start in 2015, and the new company will create 400 jobs.

The voestalpine Group is expanding its special steel activities in the promising Chinese market, targeting the Chinese premium market with its EUR 140 million investment in Yinchuan (Ningxia province). Working together with local company Kocel Machinery Co., LTD, the new special steel plant is scheduled for completion by the end of 2017. It will produce highest-quality tool steels and forged materials for the automotive, consumer goods, and mechanical engineering industries. “This investment is another important step in fulfilling our internationalization strategy. We can set new standards in China with our know-how, particularly in the premium special steel segment, and extend our leadership position in the high-alloyed tool steel sector further,” explains Franz Rotter, Member of the Management Board of voestalpine AG and Head of the Special Steel Division.

In future, the new Chinese plant will produce between 50,000 and 70,000 tons of high-quality special steel products each year when operating at full capacity. voestalpine partner Kocel Machinery Co., LTD, is part of the international Kocel Group, and with a staff of 1,000 employees it generates annual revenue of around EUR 55 million in China, the USA, and Europe. The company is specialized in iron and steel casting for the mining and power generation machine sectors, and has been a production partner in China to voestalpine Gießerei Linz GmbH, for many years.
China as a growth market: around 15 new voestalpine plants by 2020
In the business year 2013/14, the voestalpine Group generated around EUR 750 million (7% of Group revenue) in Asia. It is intended to almost triple revenue by the end of 2020, to around EUR 2 billion annually. voestalpine plans to invest between EUR 400 and 500 million in the region. The major customer segments are mobility (railway infrastructure & turnout technology, automotive components) and energy (turbines and components for power plants). The Group has 22 locations and companies in China alone, employing a staff of almost 2,200. It plans to build around 15 new plants in the People’s Republic between 2013 and 2020.

Special Steel Division
The voestalpine Special Steel Division is focused on technologically sophisticated materials and customer-specific services. It is a global market leader for tool steel and one of the leading providers of high-speed steel and special forgings. The most important customer segments are the automotive, energy (both production and oil/natural gas exploration), and mechanical engineering industries as well as the consumer goods and aerospace industries. In the business year 2013/14, the division reported revenue of more than EUR 2.6 billion, of which around 40% was generated outside of Europe, and an operating result (EBITDA) of EUR 360 million. It has around 12,900 employees worldwide.

Source: voestalpine

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