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Supporting structure for world’s largest tennis stadium Arthur Ashe roof is completed

New York Times reported that on last Wednesday, the last piece of steel was placed in the superstructure for the long-awaited roof on Ashe Stadium, the United States Open’s main court. The placement of the track signified more than the end of about nine months of work since last year’s Open, which was hampered by a long winter.

This year’s tournament, which begins August 31, will be played without a finished roof, then the retractable panels and a 200,000 square foot fabric covering will be added in time for the 2016 Open. The roof will be able to close in five to seven minutes.

Officials from the United States Tennis Association talked about 5,000 tons on steel, 1,700 structural beams, 115,000 three-pound bolts and three massive cranes

After losing out on a design competition in one of those studies in 2009, Rossetti Architects, the original architect for Ashe Stadium, worked for two years on its own to develop a structure that could be built around and above the stadium, which sits on swamplike soil. Rossetti’s roof plan was announced in August 2013. Considering the years it took to come up with a workable design, the construction part has gone relatively quickly. The first of 24 columns that support the roof was erected in November.

Ashe Stadium, the largest in tennis, will maintain its seating capacity of 23,771, though some seats in the highest rows were removed to accommodate two new videoboards. Seats were added in lower levels to replace those lost

Source : New York Times
TATA Steel CFO says no investment proposal sent to Electrosteel Steels

Business Standard reported that Tata Steel has denied sending term sheets to Electrosteel Steels indicating investment. Mr Koushik Chatterjee, executive director and group chief financial officer at Tata Steel, told Business Standard that We have not spoken to Electrosteel Steels and have not given any term sheets to them. Tata Steel, therefore, is not obliged to make any filing to the exchange.”

On Thursday, in a disclosure to the stock exchanges, Electrosteel Steels said lenders and the company had received indicative term sheets for investment from the Tata Group and a financial investor based in Singapore.

Last month the stock exchange had sought clarification from Tata Steel on a news report that said the company was in talks with Electrosteel Steels for a buyout. The alloy producer had then responded it regularly evaluated organic and inorganic growth opportunities across various segments of its operations. It ahd said “The board and management of Tata Steel is committed to making disclosures at the appropriate time so as to eliminate any asymmetry of information. The company has robust disclosure principles and follows a policy of not commenting on market speculation.”

The West Bengal-headquartered Electrosteel Steels is a subsidiary of Electrosteel Castings, which holds a 45.23 per cent stake. With a 2.5 million tonne Chinese steel facility in Jharkhand, Electrosteel Steels had net debt of close to Rs 10,000 crore on March 31, 2014. The company has also been allotted an iron ore mine that is awaiting clearance from the Jharkhand government. The company has not been performing well for the last five years. Its debt-equity ratio has risen to 4.72 in 2013-14 from 1.76 in 2010-11.

Source : Business Standard
Worst is over for Chinese steel industry - Argonaut Securities

Bloomberg reported that according to Argonaut Securities (Asia) Ltd, China’s steel industry will improve as supply is constrained by fewer capacity additions, closing of polluting plants and a strong export outlook as China will also see demand accelerate in the longer term on the back of the country’s fiscal stimulus and monetary easing

Ms Helen Lau a Hong Kong-based analyst said in a report last week that “The Chinese market will swing to a supply deficit this year, with the gap widening next year through 2020. The worst in China’s steel sector is over. The industry has reached an inflection point on the back of an improving supply and demand outlook. Demand recovery, albeit lackluster over the short term, will accelerate on the back of ongoing fiscal stimulus and monetary easing policies.”

She added “Steel exports will remain strong due to pricing competitiveness and economic recovery in destination countries.”

China has sought to boost infrastructure spending and cut interest rates to spur growth in the world’s second-biggest economy as Premier Li Keqiang strives to meet the nation’s 2015 growth target of about 7 percent.

Spot prices of rebar, used mostly in construction, have fallen to a 12 year low as demand cooled amid oversupply and a property slump in China, which produces about half the world’s steel. About 35 percent of China’s steel demand is related to housing and real estate

Source : Bloomberg
TATA Steels UK workers to start strike action from Tuesday

The Hindu Business Line reported that Tata Steel’s dispute with its UK workforce over plans to close its British Steel defined benefit pension scheme shows no sign of resolving itself, as workers prepare to take a number of steps better known as “action short of strike action” from Tuesday this week.

A spokesperson for the Unite union told Business Line “From 6 AM on June 16, all union members will neither work over time nor do work outside the strict remit of their written agreements. The action is likely to be ongoing.”

Members of four unions, who represent over two-thirds of Tata Steel’s 17,000-strong workforce in the UK, are set to go on strike on June 22, in a one-day stoppage, under which only work essential to the safety, and to the integrity of the plant, will be carried out.

Unions have said they expect the impact of the 'action short of strike action' to severely limit production.

Source : The Hindu
Malysian steel makers oppose gas price hike

The Star reported that Malaysia’s iron and steel makers have opposed the proposed 10% hike in natural gas prices and they want the government to stop Gas Malaysia Bhd from going ahead with it on July 1. The Malaysian Iron and Steel Industry Federation said on Thursday it is utterly disappointed and deeply concerned with the price increase as announced.

MISIF claimed that Gas Malaysia, being a monopoly supplier of natural gas to the industrial users in the country, posted sterling profit results of above RM160mil continuously for the past three financial years (2012 – 2014).

It said “With such excellent earnings, we view the recent price increase as not only unjustified but also smacked of excessive profiteering. This should warrant an immediate investigation by the Ministry of Domestic Trade, Cooperatives and Consumerism on Gas Malaysia Bhd to curb such unhealthy activity.”

MISIF said “There is no justifiable reason for Gas Malaysia to increase the gas price as the international natural gas price was trading at only USD 2.84/MMBtu (RM 10.70/MMBtu) on the New York Mercantile Exchange (Nymex). This clearly shows that the domestic natural gas pricing is moving against the world trend. The price hike comes at an inopportune time, especially so soon after the recent implementation of Government’s regulatory decisions, particularly the implementation of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) effective April 1, 2015 that has brought adverse impact on the cost of doing business in relation to financial cash flow of businesses.”

Gas price supplied to industries would go up by RM 2.03 per million British thermal unit (MMBtu). This is an increase of about 10% from RM 19.77 MMBtu to RM 21.80 MMBtu for industrial users, including steel producers in Peninsular Malaysia.

Source : The Star
Mexico government to support ailing steel sector by curbing cheap imports

Mexico's mining minister Mr Ildefonso Guajardo announced measures to support the country's steel sector in the face of price weakness and dumping. Mexico's steel sector has also been hit by rising low cost imports at the expense of domestic production, including a 101% rise in Chinese steel in 2014. The minister also raised concerns over low cost imports from Russia following the recent weakening of the rouble.

In response to the challenges, Mr Guajardo unveiled steps to support Mexican steel producers, including new antidumping duties and anticircumvention measures.

He also proposed confirming current duties and launching new antidumping investigations to protect steel products most at risk, which are slab, plate, and hot and cold-rolled steel.

In the steel and base metals sector, 25 duties are currently in force in Mexico and 16 new antidumping investigations have been launched under the current administration, four times more than under the previous government. But this has done little to halt the steep advance of steel imports, which grew by 19.5% to 12.4 million tonnes last year, representing nearly half of Mexico's apparent consumption of 26.6 million tonnes.

This follows plans announced this month by Altos Hornos de México (Ahmsa), one of Mexico's biggest steelmakers, to cut production by 20% and freeze USD 251 million in investments as a result of price falls and rising imports.

Source : BNAmericas
Forgemasters record 607 tonnes of molten steel takes six weeks to cool

Sheffield Forgemasters International Ltd (SFIL) has completed its biggest ever pour with a staggering 607 tonnes of continuous molten steel transferred into a vast subterranean mould.

Source : Strategic Research Institute
ILVA steelworker dead after plant accident

ANSA reported that a worker at ILVA steelmaker died Friday after being hit with a jet of molten metal at the plant on last Monday.

Mr Alessandro Morricella, 35, was measuring temperatures at one of the furnaces when he was hit by the blast, which tore through his protective clothing, melted his helmet, and burned 90% of his body.

City prosecutors are investigating four people in the incident, and have given ILVA 60 days to adopt measures to prevent staff from being exposed to molten metal.

Source : ANSA
Steel scrap export by EU 28 countries decline sharply in Jan-Mar 2015

Scrap Monster reported that the scrap exports by EU-28 countries during the initial three months of current year dropped sharply. The latest EU trade statistics reveal that the EU 28 nations’ scrap exports totaled 3,525,496 tonnes during the three month period. The exports were down by 10.3% when compared with those during the corresponding three-month period last year.

The largest importer of ferrous scrap from EU 28 region was Turkey. The scrap imports by Turkey totaled 2,136,914 tonnes, constituting nearly 60.6% of the total scrap exports by EU-28 nations during this period. The scrap exports to Turkey dropped by 4.9% over the previous year.

In second place was Egypt with 564,934 tonnes. The exports to Egypt plunged by nearly 70% when compared with the exports during Jan-Mar ‘14.

The third largest export destination for EU-28 countries’ scrap was India with 310,466 tonnes. The exports to India increased by nearly 20% 625% during the three-month period.

The top three destinations accounted for 77.7% of the total EU-28 nations’ export.

The other major export destinations of EU-28 nations were: USA (178,374 tonnes, down 58.6%), Switzerland (128,067 tonnes, down 8.8%) and China (88,129 tonnes, down 15.6%).

Source : Scrap Monster
Saudi Arabian steel production falls as inventories pile up

Saudi Arabia’s production of steel slumped by 200,000 tonnes to 800,000 tonnes from one million tons as manufacturers call for restrictions on steel exports to be eased.

An industry source said that producers decided to slash production from one million tons to 800,000 and that has led to lower inventories.

Chairman of the National Committee for Steel Industry at the Council of Saudi Chambers Mr Shuail Al Ayed said that factories hold about 800,000 tonnes of steel surplus while traders have 400,000 tonnes, bringing the total available steel in the Kingdom to 1.2 million tonnes

Mr Al Ayed said that manufacturers will not be able to increase output as long as steel exports are not allowed.

He noted that local consumption of rebar stands at 10m tons a year and at 850,000 tons a month, indicating that raising inventories would result in heavy financial costs to manufacturers.

Source : The Saudi Gazette
Vale well positioned to handle lower iron prices – Moodys

Moody's Investors Service says that Brazilian iron ore mining giant Vale SA's credit metrics will deteriorate amid weaker market fundamentals through mid-2016, however, Vale is, to a point, well positioned to tolerate the lower prices for iron ore and base metals and has a solid credit profile, reflected in its Baa2 rating.

Source : Strategic Research Institute
Vale to slash capital spending in next 3 years

Brazilian mining giant Vale SA said on last Wednesday it is planning to slash its investment spending over the next three years.

The company expects to invest a total of USD 9 billion this year and USD 7 billion in 2016. Capital spending will continue to slow in 2017 and 2018, to USD 5 billion and USD 4 billion, respectively.

In 2014, Vale invested a total of USD 12 billion in its operations.

The company unveiled the plan in a presentation to investors posted to Brazil’s Securities and Exchange Commission website.

Source : Wall Street Journal
Strategic Elements targets WA desert for Meteorite impact mineral deposits

ASX listed Strategic Elements will fund exploration of two projects covering potential impact structures caused by meteorites striking the Great Victoria Desert over a hundred million years ago. Meteorite impact structures potentially contain mineral deposits (e.g. copper, nickel, uranium, gold, diamonds) due to the enormous energy, heat and pressure created by the impact.

The projects were generated in collaboration between 100% owned Maria Resources and Dr Franco Pirajno, one of Western Australia's most respected geologists. As well as fieldwork on impact structures Dr Pirajno has published a book on hydrothermal processes and mineral systems including impact structures and written several peer reviewed papers on impact structures.

Managing Director Mr Charles Murphy said "Although the memory technology project is front and centre it is important for investors to remember there is more potential value in the Company. The two new projects are a fantastic addition by Dr Pirajno and the team and they could provide large scale upside for the Company as a whole".

Meteorite impact is an extraordinary planetary process involving vast amounts of energy and extreme stress strain rates, causing immediate rises in pressure that produce fracturing, disruption and structural re-distribution of target materials.

Although not widely known in Australia as targets for exploration, meteorite impact structures are well recognised overseas to be associated with significant mineral resources. One of the most prominent deposits related to impact are gold deposits of the Witwatersrand Basin, which has produced approx. 40% of all gold mined on Earth. The world class Nickel Copper Sulphide deposits in mafic ultramafic intrusions of the large Sudbury impact structure are also prominent. However there are numerous other deposits (Carswell Uranium, Ternovka Iron Ore-Uranium etc.) that are linked with impact structures. The largest Zinc mine in Australia (Century Mine) was located directly adjacent to the Lawn Hill Impact Structure, although there is debate over the exact relationship. It is reported that impact structures in excess of 5-10km diameters represent potential exploration targets.

Lennis Project - Great Victoria Desert, WA
The Lennis Project covers 362 km2 of ground lodged in the Great Victoria Desert over a potential meteorite impact structure and affected surrounding area. According to meteorite impact experts Iasky and Glikson, Lennis has a 20km diameter multi-ringed magnetic anomaly with the characteristics of a meteorite impact structure. Imperial College calculations based on diameter predict that the potential meteorite was travelling at 17 kilometres per second producing energy roughly equivalent to 6780 mega tonnes of TNT, over six times more than the largest earthquake in history.

Source : Strategic Research Institute
BC Iron repays loan early

AAP reported that shares in BC Iron rose after the Pilbara iron ore miner announced it was making the final repayment on a major loan 18 months early as it works to improve its balance sheet.

The company only just broke even on its production in the early months of 2015 due to weak iron ore prices, and has been focusing on managing its cash position.

BC Iron will repay the remaining $US30.8 million on a loan from Commonwealth Bank and ANZ on June 29, leaving a $US5 million interest-free loan from Hong Kong business partner Henghou Industries as its last remaining obligation.

Managing director Morgan Ball said the repayment will simplify BC Iron’s balance sheet and provide a solid platform for it to consider any opportunities that arise.

Source : The West Australian
More aluminum vehicles likely to hit the roads

Providence Journal reported that although the vast majority of vehicles on the road today are manufactured with a steel body and chassis, aluminum has slowly but surely found a home in the automotive industry. Once found mainly in luxury vehicles, aluminum made the leap to the mainstream in 2014 when it was announced that the Ford F-150, the nation’s top-selling vehicle, would become the first pickup truck with an all-aluminum body.

Mr Scott Oldham, editor-in-chief for, a car shopping website, says manufacturing of full or partial aluminum vehicles is likely going to increase, as manufacturers look for sleeker, lighter-weight vehicles to increase fuel efficiency. Mr Oldham points out that the F-150 has had an aluminum hood for the past several years. He said “Many vehicles have some aluminum. It’s been on the radars of car companies for a very long time. It’s hard to find a model of a luxury vehicle that doesn’t have a fair amount of aluminum on the body. It’s not limited to body panels. Many suspension parts are aluminum, too.”

Mr Jack Nerad, executive editorial director for Kelley Blue Book’s, says its likely manufacturers will continue to add more aluminum to their fleets. He said “In the next five years, there will be a lot more uses of aluminum in various back panels, hoods and roofs on cars,” Nerad says. “We’re going to see this more and more.”

According to Ford, the switch to the lighter-weight aluminum — coupled with increasing the strength of its frames — shed 700 pounds from the Ford F-150, therefore increasing towing capability and efficiency.

Toyota Motor Corp. plans to jump into the aluminum business, as news reports indicate the company will manufacture the U.S.-built Camry’s 2018 model with an aluminum hood. The Camry is the nation’s best-selling car.

Source :
ArcelorMittal Liberia sends 190 employees home as iron ore bites reported that Arcelor Mittal Liberia has redundant 190 of its employees, amounting to 16 percent of the workforce, attributing the action to decline in the price of iron ore on the world market.

Making the disclosure via telephone on a popular talk show ‘God Morning Bassa’ on a local radio station in Buchanan over the weekend, Corporate Communications Manager Ms Hester Baker Pearson said the redundancy was done in line with all rules and laws within Liberia.

Ms Pearson disclosed that after the tripartite meetings ended on April 2, 215 between the Workers Union, Government of Liberia and Arcelor Mittal, 20 percent of its work force should had been redundant, but management after careful scrutiny reduced it to 16 percent.

She also disclosed that during negotiations, all demands brought forward by the Workers Union were addressed appropriately, including the cancellation of the helicopter contract and 30 percent reduction of expatriates and that it was now time for the Liberian employees.

Ms Pearson said for Arcelor Mittal to remain operational and competitive in the world these steps had to be taken.

She said each worker had been paid a month and half for each year worked and all letters had been issued and received by the affected employees.

Source : GNN Liberia
Essar Steel to sell 2 of its non core assets - Report

The Hindu reported that Essar Steel has chalked out a financial plan to sell/transfer two of its non-core assets to improve its liquidity, reduce debt and to focus on the core business area.

As per the proposed plan, Essar Steel, the unlisted company, is planning to hive off Hazira Coke Oven plant having a production capacity of 1.53 million tonnes per annum for Rs.3,600 crore.

The second one relates to 8million tonnes per annum 267 kilometer Vizag Slurry Pipeline (between Kiradul and Vizag) for Rs.3,600 crore.

Thecompany is planning to sell or otherwise transfer these undertakings/assets/projects to strategic investor/Special Purpose Vehicle Company or third party on a going concern basis, backed by long term supply service agreement to ensure smooth functioning of operations.

Essar Steel has moved special resolutions seeking shareholders nod by July 1, so as to complete the transactions during 2015-16.

Source : The Hindu
Arrium Mining flags asset sales and announces AUD 320 million in write downs

Australian steel & mining company Arrium has flagged potential asset sales and AUD 320 million in write downs due to the significant fall of iron ore prices. In January, Arrium announced plans to close its southern iron ore project near Coober Pedy in South Australia's far north, cutting 580 jobs.

The company expects to record a further asset impairment charge of AUD 320 million in its financial statements for the year ending June 30, 2015. This includes an impairment of AUD 245 million in mining, AUD 45 million related to lower forecast ferrous margins in recycling and AUD 30 million related to Metalcentre, which is part of steel's retail business.

Arrium managing director and chief executive Mr Andrew Roberts said “Debt reduction continued to be a key priority for the company, but the substantial deterioration in iron ore prices has had an adverse impact on its cash flows and level of debt. The company had made significant progress across its operations to reduce costs, particularly in its mining division. Company would now undertake a strategic review of its business to reflect the low iron ore price, following a detailed assessment of its balance sheet and portfolio. This will include the potential divestment of significant assets of businesses.

But Mr Roberts said the company's Whyalla-based steel business, OneSteel, was seeing significant improvement. He said "Our mining consumables business is continuing to perform strongly, and we are seeing significant improvement in the performance of steel.”

Mr Roberts said "However, despite the benefits from restructuring mining, and stronger earnings in our mining consumables and steel businesses, the extent of the deterioration in iron ore prices means we have had to adjust our expectations around the timing and rate of debt reduction. The review will consider a range of options to deliver the best outcome for shareholders, a resilient business with a stronger and more robust balance sheet going forward."

Source :
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