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State owned Thai Nguyen Iron and Steel faces bankruptcy in Vietnam

VN Express Net reported that saddled with debts it cannot repay, state-owned Thai Nguyen Iron and Steel Jsc is on the verge of bankruptcy. In a recent letter to shareholders, Thai Nguyen Iron and Steel Jsc said it is facing a financial crisis which could lead to bankruptcy if it is not saved by the government, banks and other authorities. It said “The charter capital of the company, one of the largest steel producers in Vietnam, was VND 1.94 trillion (USD 83.6 million) last year but owner’s equity accounted for only 18%, which the company regards as a low ratio. With liabilities 4.65 times owner’s equity, TISCO said its capital structure is unstable. The company added it needs to increase owner’s equity and recover bad debts. The bad debts climbed to almost VND 852 billion (USD 36.7 million) last year, of which the company said 46 percent could be recovered.”

One of the problems the company has been facing is the delay in a stop-start expansion project. The project first began in 2007 but stalled soon afterwards due to the global economic crisis. The original cost of expansion of VND 3.84 trillion (USD 165.5 million) was increased to over VND 8.1 trillion (USD 349 million) on the suggestion of Chinese contractors when it was restarted in 2009. But in 2012 it stalled again when TISCO faced a resources crunch, causing the China Metallurgical Group Corporation to withdraw from the project. TISCO had paid MCC 92 percent of the contract value at the time, but much of the work was left incomplete, according to the Government Inspectorate. Machinery and equipment MCC delivered had rusted and become damaged after lying unused for long.

Source : Vnexpress Net
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US raw steel production for Week 14 - AISI

In the week ending on April 6, 2019, domestic raw steel production was 1,928,000 net tons while the capability utilization rate was 82.8 percent. Production was 1,787,000 net tons in the week ending April 6, 2018 while the capability utilization then was 76.3 percent. The current week production represents a 7.9 percent increase from the same period in the previous year. Production for the week ending April 6, 2019 is up 0.8 percent from the previous week ending March 30, 2019 when production was 1,913,000 net tons and the rate of capability utilization was 82.2 percent.

Adjusted year-to-date production through April 6, 2019 was 26,136,000 net tons, at a capability utilization rate of 81.9 percent. That is up 6.8 percent from the 24,472,000 net tons during the same period last year, when the capability utilization rate was 76.5 percent.

Broken down by districts, here's production for the week ending April 6, 2019 in thousands of net tons: North East: 205; Great Lakes: 706; Midwest: 195; Southern: 746 and Western: 76 for a total of 1928.

Source : Strategic Research Institute
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Steel galvanizing firm relocates to South Kirkby Business Park

Insider Media reported that a steel galvanizing and metal finishing company has completed its move to new premises at the GBP 10 million South Kirkby Business Park. GalvanizeUK purchased two units on the Wakefield Enterprise Zone industrial development, from Marshall CDP, late last year in a deal negotiated by joint agents Carter Towler and AWS. Marshall CDP began work on this third phase three of its speculative 11-acre industrial development in 2014. Of the five new properties built totalling more than 104,850 sq ft just one remains available.

Mr Nick Arundel of AWS said that "It's fantastic to see units 4B and 4C in full operation now. Since they were bought last December GalvanizeUK has been undertaking a very extensive fit out of the buildings. GalvanizeUK supply galvanized steel products to companies operating in a broad range of sectors across the UK. Their new 21,500 sq ft operation here in the heart of Yorkshire will bring many much needed jobs to this area."

Source : Insider Media
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India to surpass US as second biggest steel consumer by 2019 end - Mr Sushim Banerjee

Mr Sushim Banerjee DG INSDAG in his personal capacity wrote in Financial Express that the performance of Indian steel industry in FY19 deserves special mention amidst a minor slowdown in industrial production in the last few months. Crude steel production at 106.4 million tonne has made India climb up the second position, surpassing Japan and the differential is likely to get widened in the coming years. The apparent consumption of finished steel at 97.5 million tonne, registering an annual growth of 7.5%, the highest among the global players, has made India nearly touching the level of the US and in all likelihood India would occupy the second position in steel consumption by the end of CY19. The finished steel production at 131.7 million tonne plus imports (finished) at 7.8 million tonne minus exports (finished) at 6.4 million tonne and after deducting inter plant transfer and double counting (HR to CR, CR to Coated, HR to Pipes) at 33.1 million tonne and adjusting for stocks (additions are minus with depletion as plus) of (-) 2.6million tonne , we get a finished steel consumption of 97.5 million tonne. A few aspects of this performance may be noted.

First, the consumption growth in carbon steel market is substantially lower at 5.7% as compared to consumption growth of 25% in alloy and SS market. The gross production of 11.03 million tonne in the special steel segment is a record and as these two segments are predominated by large number of SMEs, the rise in production and consumption has benefited SME sector the most. JPC data on alloy/SS category wise is currently made available only at the production level and not at the consumption level (even though imports and exports of alloy/SS is available product wise) which makes it difficult to arrive at product wise market share. The production data needs to be bifurcated at least into major producer wise (SMEs can be grouped together) to align with the reporting for the carbon steel market.

The market segments of the two types of steel are not entirely different and automobile, railways, transport, architecture, building and construction are the major common sets of consumption. It appears that growth rates in alloy/SS in these sectors enjoy the impact of low base volume and there is a distinct shift towards use of special steel by the consumers in these traditional areas. However, the auto sector after undergoing a steady monthly growth between 10-12% in the past one year is showing signs of deceleration at 7% growth in FY19.

The auto component sector is suffering due to lower orders from the car manufacturers. The repo rate reduction of 50 basis points in two tranches by RBI is likely to make personal loans cheaper and may stimulate demand in the sector in the coming months. As auto sector growth is employment intensive, it is essential that the sector gets back on rails early and demand for CRS, HRC, Rounds also moves up. This sector is also important to prompt domestic producers to build up capacities of making advanced high strength steel, body sheets and panels and thereby bring down imports of high value added steel. Nippon Steel, JFE, Hyundai, POSCO are some of the global players that have set up indigenous facilities (service centres) for supplying customised steel to auto sector and therefore the growth sustainability of the sector is a major determining factor for the success of Make In India programme.

Second, the total imports (including semi finished steel) in FY19 at 8.8 million tonne has grown by 4.6% over last year, while total exports at 8.5 million tonne falls short of last year’s level by 26.4%. The plausible reasons of the US’ unilateral act of duty enhancement under section 232 followed by retaliatory steps by China and the EU (definite safeguard duty and quota based entry) and the application of a wide range of ADD and CVD notified by many countries against various steel products have led to a shrinkage of space for the movement of steel for trading purposes and no wonder Indian steel exports have faced stiff entry barriers. The slower growth in global trade had its adverse impact on manufacturing growth also. It has resulted in limiting steel export destinations from India to Nepal, Italy, Vietnam and the UAE. While imports to India have been primarily undertaken by Japan, South Korea (under free trade in RCEP) and China, together accounting for 66.6% of total imports and maximum imports took place in respect of HRC, coated products, CRC and bars and rods, the product categories of HRC, semi finished steel, coated products, CRC and bars and rods comprise the major components of Indian steel exports in FY19. Melting scrap has been imported a record level of 6.6 MT in the year. The import of defective grade coated sheets to the tune of around 150,000 tonne worth INR 612.2 crore is a cause of concern.

Globally, the manufacturing sector is performing below desired level. The PMI in manufacturing in the US, China, Germany, South Korea and Japan at 52.4, 50.8, 44.1, 48.8 and at 49.2, respectively are generally lower than February level. The silver lining is that stimulus measures in terms of additional public investment and appropriate policy support (monetary and fiscal) for building of infrastructure, real estate, ports and ship building and other steel intensive sectors would continue unabated in the US, Germany, Japan, China, Indonesia, the UAE, Saudi Arabia and India. This factor alone would make the deceleration in specific sectors rather short lived.

Source : Financial Express
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NCLAT may ask ArcelorMittal to deposit INR 42,000 crore for acquiring Essar Steel

PTI reported that the National Company Law Appellate Tribunal said it is likely to direct global steel major ArcelorMittal to deposit the bid amount of INR 42,000 crore for acquiring Essar Steel in separate accounts during the next hearing on 23 April. A two-member bench headed by chairman justice SJ Mukhopadhaya said ArcelorMittal may have to deposit the money in a separate account either before the NCLAT or NCLT Ahmedabad Bench. The bench also asked ArcelorMittal to file an affidavit before it, detailing the steps to be taken for implementation of the resolution plan for debt-ridden Essar Steel. The Bench said "ArcelorMittal India, successful resolution applicant, would file an affidavit for implementation of plan. The appellate tribunal may direct the successful resolution applicant to deposit money in one or another account in the next date of hearing.

The Bench also said that the original plan approved by NCLT Ahmedabad has to be implemented. It also directed operational creditors and financial creditors of Essar Steel to file a chart next week, detailing their claims approved by the resolution professional and the Committee of Creditors. It said "Financial creditors and operational creditors are allowed to file one-page affidavit giving details of their claims approved by the RP and its percentage.

Moreover, it also asked the Gujarat state tax department to file an affidavit over its claims.

The NCLAT was hearing a batch of petitions filed by operational creditors, Gujarat state tax department and others.

Source : PTI
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Unions want Mr Buhari to sign Ajaokuta Steel Company Completion Fund Bill

Vanguard Nigeria reported that two unions in the iron and steel industry have said that completion and functioning of the Ajaokuta Steel Company Ltd will reduce unemployment and improve the economy. The unions, Steel and Engineering Workers Union of Nigeria and Iron and Steel Senior Staff Association of Nigeria, also said that presidential assent to the Ajaokuta Steel Company Completion Fund Bill, 2018, would impact much on the company and the industry. The leaders of the unions, Alhaji Kasemu Kadiri, General Secretary of SEWUN, and Mr Bello Itopa, ISSSAN President, spoke with press in Lagos. The union leaders were reacting to President Muhammadu Buhari’s decline to assent to the bill.

Mr Kadiri told NAN that the president and lawmakers should close any loopholes and ensure that the company would begin operations. According to Kadiri, the project was envisaged to generate socio-economic benefits and increase the production capacity of the nation through linkages to other industrial sectors.

President on April 2 declined assent to the bill, saying that the nation could not afford to commit USD 1 billion to the rehabilitation of the company because of other priorities. According to the president, appropriating USD 1 billion from the Excess Crude Account is not the best strategic option for Nigeria at this time of budgetary constraints. In 1971, the Federal Government established the Nigeria Steel Development Authority in order to advance development of the steel industry. On Sept. 18, 1979, the company was established and it became the successor of NSDA which was dissolved through decree No. 60 of the same year.

Source : Vanguard Nigeria
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GMS Market Commentary on Shipbreaking in Turkey in Week 14 - CONFUSED…?

The Turkish market seemed to delve into a confused state this week, as despite the Lira continues sulking around the TRY 5.6X mark and local steel plate prices stay suspended around the USD 315/MT mark, local offerings for tonnage remained unchanged yet, the lack of local fixtures left many Aliaga Buyers wondering what they were doing wrong. Despite several local deliveries of previous fixtures reportedly taking place over the last couple of weeks, local supply overall remains weak and demand remains strong as a result of.

With the Pakistani market now firming and the Indian market still some ways ahead, a steady (and hopefully firming) Turkish market can only remain a good thing for the domestic ship-recycling sector.

Source : Strategic Research Institute
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GMS Market Commentary on Shipbreaking in Pakistan in Week 14 - PUSH!

The big news over the last couple of weeks hovered around a long overdue improvement from the Pakistani market, as the price of locally melted steel shot up by PKR 1,000/ton and ship plate prices improved by PKR 500/ton, giving some much-needed optimism to Gadani recyclers. Pakistan has of course, been on the sidelines for basically all of this year and for much of last year as well, aside from a few months in April–May in 2018, just after the market reopened on tankers.

The drastic decline in the currency (by nearly 20%) has seen many end users marginalized for the most part, in the face of some frantic and bullish buying from the likes of Bangladesh of late. One can only hope that this is the start of a sustained resurgence from Pakistan, as it would certainly be good to have them back at the buying table once again.

Source : Strategic Research Institute
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NLMK Group companies join Steel Tree program

NLMK Group, a global steel company announced the start of the third stage of its annual Steel Tree grant program, which offers funding for environmental projects, landscaping and welfare improvement initiatives. In 2019, company employees in all major home regions in Russia will have an opportunity to compete for grants. The program was launched in early 2017 and enabled NLMK Lipetsk employees to implement more than ten community-oriented environmental initiatives with the financial support of NLMK’s ‘Miloserdiye’ charity fund. In 2018 the program expanded its reach to include employees at NLMK’s companies in Stary Oskol (Belgorod region) and Zarinsk (Altai Krai). Now, an opportunity to participate in the grant competition is offered to employees at NLMK Kaluga (Kaluga region), NLMK Ural and VIZ-Steel (Sverdlovsk region). The participants of the program of the previous years implemented dozens of projects of social significance, which you can find on ‘Miloserdiye’ charity fund's website or on the program's YouTube channel.

To participate in the competition, applicants should submit an application describing the project to miloserdie@nlmk.com until June 1. After that, project management training will be organized for applicants free of charge; they will also receive support in elaborating their ideas. The competition committee, consisting of representatives of the fund, companies and local administrations, will select authors of the best community-oriented initiatives who will receive grants of up to 300,000 rubles and organizational support for putting their ideas into practice.

Source : Strategic Research Institute
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MMK steel upgrades its corporate information system

Magnitogorsk Iron and Steel Works has successfully adopted a new corporate information system based on Oracle e-Business Suite v.12 technology as of 1 April 2019. The previous version of Oracle e-Business Suite has been used by MMK since 2004. MMK's incorporation of Oracle EBS into its corporate information system, has been recognized by Oracle as the most successful example among similar initiatives in Europe, the Middle East and Africa. Over time it has become necessary to upd ate to a new version of Oracle EBS and particularly, to optimize business processes by replacing our own IT developments with the more standard and newer version of Oracle and to create a single IT platform to be used by all enterprises in MMK Group.

In February 2018, MMK signed an agreement with Oracle for the incorporation of the 12th version of Oracle EBS into MMK’s corporate information system, as well as those of the United Service Company and MMK Metiz. The project requires the participation of both management and specialists from all structural units of the companies involved. The project manager from MMK is its Director for Economics Andrey Eremin.

Mr Andrey Eremin said that “Since the start of 2018, the team has been working hard alongside Oracle consultants on the transition to the new corporate information system - on its configuration, data conversion and user training. Progress has also been made towards the optimisation of MMK Group's business processes by adopting a unified corporate information system. The new CIS will alter management of production (both continuous and discrete) inventories, repairs and purchases (including an e-trading platform), finances, personnel (including payroll), projects, orders and sales. Information streams have also been se t up in order to provide data for modelling the enterprise’s processes and for predicting the results of its activity. We have successfully reduced the number of old customisations and the updates have significantly increased the Company's efficiency.”

All preparations for the transition to the new version of Oracle EBS were completed on time and as of 1 April we are conducting a test run of the new system. Thus, the first part of the project has been completed. We anticipate that the second stage of the project, during which MMK Metiz and USC will start to use the CIS supported by the new version of Oracle EBS, will be completed in July of this year. The Company also has plans to introduce this CIS into the machine-building division of MMK Group, Mekhanoremontny Komplex, as well as into a number of other enterprises in the Group.

Source : Strategic Research Institute
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Chelpipe to supply large dia steel pipes to Turkmengas for TAPI gas pipeline

Russia’s Chelpipe will supply large-diameter pipes for the construction of a part of TAPI global gas pipeline. This will help the producer improve its order-book for 2019. Chelpipe won a tender for the supply of over 150,000 tonnes of LDP to state-owned Turkmengas. LDPs with above 1,420 mm in diameter and an external corrosion resistant coating will be used in the construction of a 200 km linear part of TAPI gas pipeline (Turkmenistan-Afganistan-Pakistan-India) with 1,735 km of total length. The supply of the first batch is scheduled for Q2 2019

Denis Prikhodko, commercial director at ChelPipe, said “Chelpipe is constantly working on expanding our exports. Under the TAPI project, the company will ship the largest LDP batch to Turkmenistan over the last few years. We offered the best delivery and service terms among 94 local and global companies that participated in the tender.”

Source : Strategic Research Institute
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GMS Market Commentary on Shipbreaking in India in Week 14 - MISSING MARKET!

India has had to sit by and see most of the larger LDT market tonnage, in addition to those in Cash Buyer hands, proceed to Bangladesh for yet another week. However, Alang Buyers have been quietly going about their business, fixing ships for HK SoC green recycling, specialist vessels (rich in non-ferrous and perhaps less desired elsewhere like reefers and passenger vessels etc.) and offshore units, at lower overall levels. One such (container) vessel was sold this week for an HKC SoC resale, as Wan Hai Lines of Taiwan sold their WAN HAI 206 (6,938 LDT) by tender process, at a more than decent USD 400/LT LDT basis an ‘as is’ Kaohsiung delivery.

With Pakistan creeping up in the rear with improving rates, it looks like this will remain India’s only outlet to secure vessels, as on the market tonnage, they are still some ways from being overall competitive and have missed out on a majority of the vessels this year (to Bangladesh).

Source : Strategic Research Institute
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Japanese steelmakers to raise retirement age to 65

Jiji Press reported that four major Japanese steelmakers retirement age of their employees will be raised from the current 60 to 65, beginning in fiscal 2021. In line with the moves, the companies are expected to step up efforts to ensure that skills and techniques held by veteran employees are passed on to young workers smoothly and to help employees keep motivation high, industry sources said.

Source : JiJi Press
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Shoddy steel bars sold in hardware stores in Cordilleras - PISI

Philippine Daily Inquirer reported that Philippine Iron and Steel Institute said that it has found some substandard steel bars being sold in several hardware stores in Baguio City, Benguet, Mountain Province and Ifugao. In a statement, Pisi said it filed a report with the Department of Trade and Industry that the substandard concrete reinforcing steel bars were used mainly to build homes. Pisi said it conducted market monitoring and “test buy” operations in 12 hardware stores in these provinces early this year.

Pisi said the Metals Industry Research and Development Center had confirmed there were substandard rebars proliferating in these areas, many of which were found to be underweight, with low elongation and/or undersized. It also claimed it found substandard steel bars produced by Real Steel Manufacturing Corp., United Steel Master Manufacturing Corp. and Maxima Steel Mills Corp. sold in Cordillera stores. It spotted, too, the fraudulent selling of 7-mm rebars as 8-mm rebars in Baguio City, as well as 8-mm steel bars as 9-mm steel bars in Banaue, Ifugao.

Pisi vice president for technical affairs Joel Ronquillo in his report to the DTI said that “The substandard rebars are definitely unsafe to use. The burden and great effect would be for the end-users and/or consumers who will use the substandard rebars without their due knowledge.”

Mr Ronquillo offered Pisi’s services to the DTI “to stop the deceitful selling practice of some hardware stores and prevent the proliferation of substandard reinforcing steel bars in the market.”

To address the problem, he suggested the DTI could conduct a nationwide market monitoring and standards enforcement campaign and file cases against erring hardware store owners and local manufacturers.

Source : Philippine Daily Inquirer
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Fitch assigns JSW Steel proposed USD notes BB(EXP)

Fitch Ratings has assigned a 'BB(EXP)' expected rating to India-based JSW Steel Limited's (JSWS, BB/Stable) proposed US dollar senior unsecured notes. The company said that it will use the proceeds from the issuance to repay debt, for capex or any other purpose in accordance with regulations. The final rating is subject to the receipt of final documentation conforming to information already received. JSWS's ratings reflect its highly competitive conversion costs and position as one of the largest steel producers in India, which is one of the fastest-growing steel markets globally. However, rating headroom is limited as we expect an increase in leverage and negative free cash flow (FCF) in FY20-FY21 (financial years ending 31 March 2020 and 2021). These forecasts are driven by our expectation of a moderation in steel industry margins in 2019 and an increase in capital spending as key projects near completion. A further increase in planned capex, following a jump in planned capex in 2018, or significant weakening of global steel industry fundamentals could weaken its financial profile.

We have not consolidated debt related to JSWS's acquisition of stakes in distressed assets in India, based on management's strategy of acquiring minority stakes and ring-fencing itself from liabilities until asset performance improves. We also have not factored in any further acquisitions. A consolidation of acquisition-related debt and evidence of weak investment discipline leading to weaker financial metrics are additional risks to JSWS's credit profile.

KEY RATING DRIVERS
Strong Margins; Likely to Moderate: Standalone EBITDA per tonne of steel sales in 9MFY19 increased by over 60% yoy to around INR12,300/tonne driven by higher steel prices even as sales volumes were almost flat. JSWS's standalone operations account for more than 90% of its consolidated EBITDA. We expect global steel prices and producers' margins to decline in 2019 and have assumed a 20% decrease in standalone EBITDA/tonne in FY20 in US dollar terms. Margins are likely to be lower, but we do not forecast an abrupt squeeze such as that seen in 2015. We expect that restrained exports from China are likely to be a key support for the global steel sector. However, weak global economic growth and volatile raw material prices are key risks.

Several Acquisitions, Some Risk: JSWS acquired stakes in several assets in India and overseas in FY19. In India, the company acquired 23% of Monnet Ispat and Energy Ltd (Monnet), and has emerged as the highest bidder for Bhushan Power and Steel Ltd (BPS). Monnet and BPS have steelmaking capacity of around 1.5 million tonnes per annum (mtpa) and 2.5mtpa, respectively, and provide exposure to eastern India where JSWS lacks a significant presence. JSWS also acquired assets in Italy (Aferpi) and the US (Acero Junction), which give the company a meaningful presence in Europe and increased capacity in the US. Aferpi has 1.3mtpa of rolling-mill capacity for rail bars and wire rods, while Acero Junction has a 3mtpa hot strip mill in Ohio.

JSWS had earlier revised its offer for BPS, and intends to employ a structure similar to the Monnet acquisition by assuming a minority stake. Fitch intends to account for BPS using the equity method after factoring in investment outflows, similar to Monnet, if the structures are similar. JSWS has yet to secure regulatory approvals for the BPS acquisition and announce details regarding the transaction structure. We have not factored in further acquisitions in our forecasts; more acquisitions could pressure JSWS's financial metrics and indicate weaker financial discipline.

Substantial Capex Planned: JSWS intends to spend around INR400 billion over FY19-FY21 in India. Around 50% of the spending is intended for expansion of crude steel capacity to 24mtpa from 18mtpa, followed by cost-saving and downstream projects. The additional capacity is due to be commissioned by March 2020. It will also invest USD500 million in its plate and pipe mill in Texas, US, mainly for backward integration. These projects should generate substantial earnings within two years, mitigating risks to JSWS's financial profile. However, JSWS increased its capex plans in 2018, and another significant increase could weaken its credit profile.

Cost-Efficient Operations: JSWS has a dominant market share in southern and western India, where its plants are located, supported by a rising share of value-added products. Its highly efficient operations partly offset its lack of significant vertical integration. JSWS's main plant at Vijayanagar placed in the second quartile of CRU's cost curve for flat steel products for 2018. The company has won mining rights for six iron ore mines in Karnataka, and it has started production from three mines. It aims to produce 4.5 million-5 million tonnes of iron ore, or about 20% of the amount needed by its Vijayanagar plant, in FY20. This should improve supply certainty for JSWS and moderately reduce costs.

Increase in Leverage, Negative FCF: We estimate JSWS's gross adjusted debt to EBITDAR leverage to increase to above 3.5x in FY20-FY21, from around 3x in FY19, based on a decline in margins and an increase in capex as capacity-expansion and other projects near completion. This is also likely to result in significantly negative FCF over the next two years. Thereafter, we expect the increase in output and lower capex to drive a reduction in leverage and improvement in FCF. Fitch has switched to using a leverage metric based on EBITDAR rather than funds from operations to allow adjustments to better reflect the company's increasing minority stakes.

Source : Strategic Research Institute
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Taiwan steel faces impact from Canadian rules

Taipei Times reported that there would be a negative impact on Taiwanese steel products if Canadian safeguards are to continue after May 13, Taiwan’s Bureau of Foreign Trade said, citing a Canadian International Trade Tribunal report the report, released last week, followed months of inquiry into the effect of Ottawa’s emergency safeguards to protect Canadian steelmakers. Five out of seven foreign products would no longer face a 25 percent provisional surtax in Canada, as the tribunal found inadequate evidence to continue the levy. It said that only heavy plate and stainless steel wire warranted ongoing safeguards. It said that as imports of heavy plate and stainless steel wire are still a legitimate threat to Canada’s steel industry, the report recommended a limit on imports of heavy plate that would benefit from a three-year tariff exemption period, with tariffs of 20 percent on volumes exceeding the limit.

The report said that the limit would increase by 10 percentage points annually during the exemption period, while the 20 percent tariff would decrease by 5 percentage points each year.

For imports of stainless steel wire, the report also suggested a three-year exemption quota plus a 25 percent tariff on volumes above the limit. During the exemption period, the limit would increase by 10 percentage points annually, while the tariff would drop by 10 percentage points per year.

Canada is the biggest market for Taiwanese heavy plate, accounting for 35.44 percent of Taiwan’s global exports, while shipments of stainless steel wire to Canada only make up 3.01 percent of exports for that type of product, the bureau said.

Taiwan provides 2 percent of overall Canadian steel imports, with the US leading the way at 51 percent and China following at 7 percent, the bureau said.

However, in the event that the Canadian government implements the report’s recommendations, but excludes countries like the US, Chile, Mexico, Israel and South Korea, Taiwanese steelmakers would be greatly disadvantaged, it said.

Source : Taipei Times
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Yaqoob Steel Mills raided by Pakistan’s FIA

The Nation reported that Federal Investigation Agency raided Yaqoob Steel Mills on main Sheikhupura road and detected gas theft amounting to PKR 480 million. The latest raid conducted by a Lahore FIA team was part of the government’s crackdown against gas and electricity theft across the country. The mills owner was stealing gas from the main supply line in connivance with the staff of the Sui Northern Gas Pipeline Limited. Punjab FIA’s Director Muhammad Waqar Abbasi told The Nation that they also registered a case against the mills owners and staff of the SNGPL. He said that “A direct by-pass of two inch diameter was installed with the connivance the SNGPL staff which was directly fitted with 18 inch main supply line.”

He said that a loss of PKR 480 million was occurred to the national kitty due to this by pass. The raiding team also sized by pass and other tools from the spot. The Director also said the FIA team raided the steel mills after they received secret information about the gas theft. The accused is said to be habitual offender and he was caught red-handed for stealing gas in 2017.

Gas was being pilfered in connivance with SNGPL staff.

The top FIA official described the raid as a major breakthrough and said that several special teams of federal agency were constituted to detect gas and electricity theft. Mr Waqar Abbasi said that “Since the federal government has ordered a full-fledged crackdown to control gas and electricity theft in the country, the FIA officers are conducting raids on a daily basis to unearth theft and arrest the accused persons.”

According to officials, the owner of Yaqoob Steel Mills was also arrested on the charges of gas theft. A team of Lahore FIA headed by headed by Fayyaz Hamid conducted a raid at Yaqoob Steel Mills , Main Sheikhupura Road and arrested the suspect after detecting huge gas theft.

Meanwhile, Mr Muhammad Waqar Abbasi directed the FIA officers to intensify crackdown against gas and electricity theft in order to bring the culprits to justice. The officer also appealed to the public to pinpoint gas and electricity theft to minimize losses to the national exchequer. He also appreciated the efforts of FIA officers for conducting a successful raid at the steel mills and capturing the owner. The FIA launched investigation into the mega theft case after registering a case against the owner and some staff members of the SNGPL.

Source : The Nation
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British Steel to supply structural sections for TeesAMP project

British Steel is helping to invigorate the north of England’s technological landscape by supplying construction steel for the GBP 55 million Teesside Advanced Manufacturing Park development project. Set in a prime location in Middlesbrough at the heart of Tees Valley, TeesAMP will provide a 21st century environment designed to encourage the gathering of like-minded businesses from a variety of industrial sectors across its 11-hectare site. Part of the project will see Stockton contractor Nationwide Structures use our structural sections for a steel fabrication contract worth GBP 1.3 million. The development will address the national shortage of high quality buildings suitable for modern advanced manufacturing companies and processes. It’s also perfectly located close to road, rail, sea and air connections, as well as Middlesbrough town centre.

Mr Andy Dagnall, Nationwide Structures Regional Manager, said that “We aim to use as much local steel as possible around 90% will come from British Steel in Redcar. I think that’s about as local as you can get.”

British Steel Managing Director Construction Mr Richard Farnsworth said that "We’re proud to see our steel helping create exciting, fresh futures. TeesAMP will help advance UK manufacturing and will bring new organisations into the area, something I’m sure the local community will welcome. This project is a great example of how the supply chain can work together to boost local communities, economies and industries. It sends out a strong message that the Tees Valley is forward-thinking, vibrant and ambitious. I wish all involved every success.”

Phase 1 of the development will create 180,000 sq ft of high quality accommodation across 17 buildings, with the potential creation of 1,000 jobs. Phase 2 will focus on bespoke buildings and processes, extending up to another 100,000 sq ft.

The first of the TeesAMP buildings should be ready for occupation by December 2019.

Source : Strategic Research Institute
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Chinese steel producers post profit slump in Jan to Feb 2019

China Org reported that China's steel industry saw its profits nearly halved in the first two months of 2019 from a year earlier, as output growth accelerated. According to the National Development and Reform Commission, the country's top economic planner, the sector reported profits of CNY 29.6 billion (USD 4.4 billion) in the January to February period, a decline of 49.5% year on year. The profit slump came as market supply continued to expand. Crude steel output grew 9.2% to 149.6 million tonnes, 3.3% higher YoY.

As a result of government efforts to cut overcapacity, the steel market has recovered recently, prompting some companies to attempt to expand capacity, according to Lyu Guixin, an inspector with the raw material department of the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology. he further said that iron ore prices continued an upward trend in recent months as overseas mine accidents disrupted supplies. Experts said that Iron ore futures prices have increased nearly 40 percent since the start of the year, and still have room to rise, pushing steel prices higher.

Brazil’s Vale dam accidents and the suspension of the transportation of iron ore in Australia because of cyclones have pushed up prices of the steel-making material.

Source : China Org
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Schnitzer Steel announces Q2 result

Schnitzer Steel Industries Inc reported results for its second quarter of fiscal 2019 ended February 28, 2019. The Company reported earnings per share from continuing operations of $0.46 and adjusted earnings per share of $0.48. For the first quarter of fiscal 2019, reported and adjusted earnings per share from continuing operations were $0.57 and $0.58, respectively. In the second quarter of fiscal 2018, the Company’s reported and adjusted earnings per share from continuing operations were $1.42, which included discrete tax benefits of $0.52 per share. For a reconciliation of the adjusted results to U.S. GAAP, see the Non-GAAP Financial Measures provided after the financial statements in this document.

Auto and Metals Recycling (AMR) achieved operating income of $22 million, or $25 per ferrous ton, compared to operating income in the first quarter of fiscal 2019 of $23 million, or $25 per ferrous ton. On a sequential basis, AMR’s performance benefited from additional productivity initiatives and a decrease in selling, general and administrative (“SG&A”) expense, which substantially offset seasonally lower volumes and retail sales, both of which were adversely impacted by unusually severe winter weather, and lower average ferrous net selling prices of 6%.

Cascade Steel and Scrap (CSS) achieved operating income of $6 million, compared to $5 million in the prior year period. The improvement in CSS’s year-over-year performance was driven primarily by a 19% increase in finished steel average net selling prices and benefits from productivity initiatives, partially offset by the increase in the cost of steel-making raw materials and a 25% decrease in finished steel sales volumes which were impacted by construction delays in our West Coast markets resulting from unusually severe winter weather in California and the Pacific Northwest.

Tamara Lundgren, President and Chief Executive Officer said that “Our team delivered a strong second quarter performance in a challenging environment that reflected declining prices for scrap during the winter months and severe weather in our West Coast and Pacific Northwest markets. AMR’s results reflected benefits from the swift execution of productivity initiatives, which are tracking ahead of schedule, and the team’s ability to optimize purchase volumes and to diversify sales. CSS delivered stronger year-over-year operating and financial results despite weather-related construction delays that impacted sales volumes. We generated strong operating cash flow and reduced debt while continuing to return capital to our shareholders through both share repurchases and our quarterly dividend. Looking forward, we remain focused on the execution of our productivity initiatives and our capital investment strategy to support our objectives of lowering processing costs, increasing recovery rates, and further developing products to meet our customers’ needs.”

Source : Strategic Research Institute
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