Tag Archives: Taiwan

China Steel places order with SMS group to modernize continuous slab caster No. 4

China Steel Corporation (CSC), Taiwan, has awarded SMS group the order to revamp its continuous slab caster No. 4 at Kaohsiung.

SMS group will be supplying a new hydraulic oscillator drive, including the pump station and the pertaining X-Pact® process control system to replace the existing electro-mechanical drive. For the mold, SMS group is supplying new thermocouples and the technological process models. The level-2 models of the X-Pact® electrical and automation system include the Mold Monitoring System for temperature monitoring and the breakout prediction system.

The new hydraulic oscillator drive allows the oscillation frequency, stroke length and curve shape to be variably set. The breakout prediction system recognizes any occurring stickers at a very early stage, allowing preventive measures to be taken. For monitoring the process in the mold, the temperature is measured via thermocouples installed on the mold copper plates.

SMS group’s supply package also includes the project management, on-site training of the operating personnel and supervision of commissioning.

Start-up is scheduled for the end of 2016.

China Steel has placed this modernization order as a follow-up to the successful implementation of a Mold Monitoring System from SMS group in continuous caster No. 7 in the same works.

China Steel operates Taiwan’s largest integrated steel plant, where it produces about ten million tons of steel per year.

The SMS group is, under the roof of SMS Holding GmbH, a group of companies internationally active in plant construction and mechanical engineering for the steel and nonferrous metals industry. Its 14,000 employees generate sales of over EUR 3,4 bn.

Source: SMS Group

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In Taiwan, the negative price tendency, for hot rolled coil, accelerated markedly in August, according to MEPS. Trading activity continued to be muted and import competition remained strong.

Sales of cold rolled coil continued to be lacklustre in the domestic market. Buyers secured further concessions. Meanwhile, galvanised coil demand was tepid. The threat from third country imports remained. During recent settlements, buyers secured substantial discounts.

Taiwanese rebar transaction values decreased for the fourth consecutive month. Selling figures came under negative pressure from reduced raw material costs and cheap Chinese billet. In late August, the price of scrap started to climb, which could enable producers to, at least, stem any further downward movement in rebar in the short term. A modest increase may even prove possible.

Source: MEPS International Steel Review – August Issue


Flat product prices have continued to plummet in the US. While underlying consumption is generally good, overblown inventories and perceptions of lower prices in the future are masking true demand. Imports from all over the world have rapidly gained market share, encouraged by the strong US dollar and slow economies in Europe and Asia. Domestic capacity utilisation rates have dropped sharply, to below 70 percent. As orders on local mills have slowed, producers have continued to offer discounts to try to generate new business.

In Canada, domestic mill output has slowed as orders dry up. Local producers are striving to match import prices, so transaction values continue to spiral downwards. Customers are not replenishing their inventories until they are sure the bottom of the price cycle has been reached. The hope is that market conditions will improve once spring arrives.

Chinese market sentiment remained weak following the lunar new year holidays. The anticipated demand improvement failed to materialise and prices have continued their negative trend. Further pressure has been put on selling values by the ever-declining cost of iron ore. Overcapacity remains a serious problem, producing a supply glut in an economy that is not growing at the speed seen in the past.

Slowing activity and rising steel stocks have hit prices in Japan. Consumption fell by another 10 percent in January, compared with the previous month – the fifth consecutive monthly drop. Export volumes are also declining – down by 5.5 percent in February, year-on-year.

After surging dramatically during 2014, imports into South Korea have started to decline. They fell by 7 percent in February, compared with the previous year, as volumes from China dropped significantly. There is still internal oversupply due to the number of new production facilities that have been brought on stream in recent years. All this material continues to weigh heavily on selling values, which have undergone further negative developments this month.

In a climate of weak demand from domestic downstream customers, declining export orders and stiff competition from cheap imports, Taiwanese steelmaker, CSC, has decided to cut domestic list prices for April/May shipments by an average of 5.2 percent, compared with the figures published for March. The reduction is the steepest over the last six months. In the domestic marketplace, transaction values have continued to fall.

As anticipated by buyers, this month’s Polish domestic transaction values for flat products are unchanged. Suppliers are talking of increases for the second quarter. Consumption is reasonable but imports continue to take up a large market share. We have noted some small upward movements in the Czech/Slovak region as the economy slowly recovers. The Czech central bank will continue with its currency intervention policy until at least the second half of next year, in a bid to promote exports.

In Western Europe, slow purchasing activity over the last month has not supported the domestic mills’ desire to lift basis values for flat products. However, local steelmakers have reasonably good order books, thanks to improved export business on the back of a weak euro. Moreover, Ilva has been out of the market. Furthermore, a number of mills have been carrying out planned maintenance and/or have had production problems. All these factors led to a tightening of supply.

Source: MEPS International Steel Review – March Issue


US flat product transaction values have shown a steep decline over the last month, in the wake of high volumes of cheaper imports and overblown service centre inventories. Domestic mills, experiencing a notable lack of orders, have started to compete on price with overseas suppliers. Dropping mill input costs are softening the blow for some steelmakers. Distributors are purchasing very cautiously as they watch transaction figures plummet. Their resale values are also tumbling as they offload excess stock.

Although auto activity is still strong in Canada, distributors are scaling back their order placement as they wait for steel prices to bottom out. Moreover, oil and gas related sales are declining. This, together with the falling outlay on input costs, has forced steelmakers to make substantial transaction price cuts.

The Chinese economy is showing signs of moderating growth. Steel orders have been cut due to slowing manufacturing activity. This has badly impacted steel prices, which have posted significant losses since MEPS December report. There have been a variety of views on the implications of the government’s decision to withdraw the VAT rebate on exports of some boron-added items. However, it seems likely that steelmakers are already looking to exploit other loopholes.

There is concern in South Korea about the growing volume of foreign steel arriving in the country. This material, as well as steel from domestic sources, continues to flood the market, weighing heavily on selling values, which have undergone further negative developments this month. Falling raw material prices are also driving figures down as customers call for discounts.

Taiwan’s integrated producer, CSC, reported declining sales revenue in November, compared with the previous month, but shipment volumes were slightly up in December. Downstream businesses, anxious about their ability to compete in global markets, have been ordering less. In the marketplace, flat product transaction values are falling.

In Poland, strip mill product prices have decreased when measured in euros. Buyers report that the lower figures are valid until the end of March, although producers are trying to talk them up. Business is quiet in the Czech/Slovak region, following the holiday. Steel demand is still at a low level but is better than a year ago. The mills have yet to make any official price announcements for 2015. Buyers do not believe they will ask for any rises, even in the second quarter. Service centres are purchasing cautiously because of tepid demand.

Source: MEPS International Steel Review – January Issue


The current price premium for flat products in the United States, over figures in other parts of the world, continues to attract imports, placing downward pressure on domestic transaction values. Producers are still keen to lift selling figures but their proposal for a US$20 per short ton hike has, so far, not come to fruition as customers see the mills’ raw material costs slide. The consumption outlook is healthy but, at the moment, service centres are experiencing a seasonal slowdown in sales activity. Supply is more than adequate. Inventories are moderate to high and domestic mill delivery lead times for standard products are short.

Offshore material is still entering Canada but the price differential with domestically produced material is no longer as significant because overseas suppliers are worried about incurring ‘dumping’ penalties. Service centres are keeping inventories steady and only buying for orders already on their books. Demand on distributors is described as inconsistent, except for auto and energy applications. Resale values are under threat.

Ongoing weakness on the raw materials side continues to create negative price pressure in China’s steel market. There is softening domestic demand in the face of slow manufacturing growth. At the same time, output has been climbing. In reaction to a stubborn glut of material in the local market, producers are looking increasingly to overseas sales. Export volumes hit a new high in November. However, prices declined, giving rise to complaints from a number of countries.

Recent statistics showed that a fall in business spending had plunged the Japanese economy into deeper recession in the three months to September. Apparent steel consumption fell in October by almost 7 percent, year-on-year. In the same time frame, imports increased. They have been climbing now for twelve months in a row, with the main competition coming from China and South Korea. However, local producers are selling more overseas, although most export prices have fallen over the last two months. On the home market, selling values have stabilised.

Steel from both domestic and overseas sources continues to flood the South Korean market, weighing heavily on selling values. Lower iron ore prices are also driving figures down. Although total imports fell in November, month-on-month, they are still a major cause for concern. Currently, Chinese material accounts for over half of foreign arrivals.

Demand in the Taiwanese home market has weakened. Major integrated producer, CSC, reported a drop in November shipments of almost 9 percent. Downstream mills and finished goods manufacturers are facing growing competition in export markets as the Japanese yen and South Korean won devaluate rapidly against the US dollar. Local steel prices are under pressure, not only from cheaper overseas offers but also from declining input costs.

Polish service centres report that activity has slowed ahead of the holidays. Effective numbers are unchanged, for now, in euros but are slightly down in zloty terms due to the recent strengthening of the local currency. The general economic situation has improved in the Czech Republic, albeit in a hesitant fashion. In Slovakia, growth has now surpassed pre-crisis levels. In both countries, steel prices have weakened a little. However, pressure from Russia has retreated, mainly because the order quantities required by producers in that country are generally too large for East European customers to finance. Sales are stable at a low level.

West European demand remains lacklustre as many clients try to minimise their inventories before the close of the financial year. Although the mills tried to resist calls for lower prices, in the majority of cases, they failed. Values have continued to fall, following the trend in raw materials. Offers from Asia are not particularly competitive at present but supply from domestic sources is plentiful.

Source: MEPS International Steel Review – December Issue

Siemens to modernize Wei Chih bar mill in Taiwan

  • In future, mill will be able to roll rounds with larger final diameters
  • Product portfolio widened to include flat and square bars
  • Optimized entry to cooling bed will improve surface quality

Siemens Metals Technologies has received an order from Wei Chih Steel Industry Co. Ltd. (Wei Chih) to modernize the company’s existing bar mill in its Tainan Plant. This will enable the Taiwanese steel producer to produce not only rounds with diameters up to 100 millimeters but also flat and square bars. The rolling train equipment as well as the entry into the cooling bed will be modified to avoid any scratch on the surfaces of the bars. Modernization work is scheduled to be completed by the middle of 2015.

Bar handling system from Siemens
Wei Chih was founded in 1982 and produces concrete reinforcing steel and structural steels for both the domestic market and for export to a number of countries all around the world. High quality rounds were added to the product portfolio a few years ago. Siemens supplied the bar mill in 1994, and a bar-in-coil mill in 2013. With cold charging the billets, it has an annual capacity of 450,000 metric tons, and produces rounds with diameters from 10 to 60 millimeters. After completion of the modernization, the mill will be able to roll not only rounds with diameters up to 100 millimeters, but also flat bars with cross-sections ranging from 25×3 to 100×36 millimeters, and square bars with cross-sections ranging from 11.3 to 60 millimeters. The rolling mill processes carbon and quality steels.

Siemens will supply the process equipment for the modernization project and assist Wei Chih with the engineering of the items it will provide. The entry into the cooling bed will be equipped with braking slides that have special plating to substantially reduce the risk of scratching the surface of the newly rolled bars. The cooling bed itself will be given a new rake system to handle the different geometries of the end products newly added to the range. An abrasive saw will be installed to cut the bars to length. Siemens will provide the bar bundling and handling machines with equipment designed to handle the new bar dimensions. Siemens will also supply the fluid systems and supervise assembly and commissioning work.

The Metals Technologies Business Unit, based in Linz, Austria, is one of the world’s leading lifecycle partners for the metallurgical industry. The Business Unit offers a comprehensive portfolio of technologies, modernization solutions, products and services, as well as integrated automation and environmental solutions for complete plant lifecycles.

For further information on solutions for steelworks, rolling mills and processing lines, please see: www.siemens.com/metals

Source: Siemens

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