Seen the news? US Steel to indefinitely idle Lone Star facility – February 13 US Steel idles Lorain mill for at least 60 days - March 5 US Steel exiting DOM tubular business - January 6 PTC Alliance idles WV DOM operation -February 12 Synalloy: helped by trade case, hurt by surcharge decline - February 19 Timken announces organizational changes, job cuts – March 3 New Chinese pipe mill in the US expected to open in 2011 - January 12 Tenaris Algoma Tubes shutting down two Canadian facilities for six weeks beginning March 20 - March 10
EAF’s running under 50% Estimated mid 40% STLD projecting loss Can shut on & off EAF’s running intermittently with reduced work weeks
Running (12)BF's (33) AK SteelAshland11 AK SteelMiddletown*01 ArcelorMittalDofasco23 ArcelorMittalBurns Harbor12 ArcelorMittalCleveland02 ArcelorMittalIndiana Harbor E15 ArcelorMittalIndiana Harbor W11 EssarAlgoma12 SeverstalDearborn12 SeverstalSparrows Point11 SeverstalWarren01 US SteelFairfield11 US SteelGary24 US SteelGranite City02 US SteelGreat Lakes03 US SteelHamilton01 US SteelLake Erie*01 North American Blast Furnaces
East Chicago West30% East Chicago East30% Burns Harbor35% Cleveland0% Riverdale18% Coatesville75% Steelton80% Conshohocken35% Weirton90% Georgetown0% Source: USW ArcelorMittal Operating Levels
MSCI FY pipe & tube shipments High: April 335,200 Low: Dec 178,500
AISI FY domestic pipe shipments 20082007Change CarbonAlloyStainlessTotal Standard Pipe1,013,184 1,081,706-6.30% Oil Country Goods1,416,420968,0512,384,4712,141,37811.40% Line Pipe487,010 632,116-23.00% Mechanical Tubing633,061271,604904,6651,000,813-9.60% Pressure Tubing51,430 31,72562.10% Structural Pipe and Tubing122,915 148,627-17.30% Pipe for Piling7,230 12,543-42.40% Stainless Pipe and Tubing97414,26014,2010.40% Total Pipe and Tubing3,731,2501,239,6559744,985,1655,063,109-1.50%
Weak Better Non-res construction bounces back in 2014 Housing recovers in 2012 White goods Automotive (February at 1982 levels) energy (could improve if oil prices rise) agriculture End markets
Industry forecast Inventories balance at end of May Buying resumes in July H2.09 improvement but no real recovery through H1.10 Prices lower in Q2; flat in Q3 and then relapse Credit issues Failures, distressed mergers Even Warren Buffett feeling the pinch Berkshire Hathaway FY.08 worst results ever. Buffett says economy “has fallen off a cliff.” Also notes that recent efforts to spur recovery may cause inflation higher than the 1970s.
Impact of stimulus plan domestic industry could see an additional 3.5-4m short tons of steel shipments go disproportionately to long product producers 4% of infrastructure spending slated for actual steel purchases which would amount to $3.2bn in steel purchases with an average selling price of $800 s.t.
RARE IN THE GOOD TIMES, NOW BECOMING COMMONPLACE Lawsuits
Tubular Lawsuits Olympic Steel suing Valmont Industries for $791,900 for breach of contract contending that a sheet order was rejected only because the inventory devalued significantly between when the contract was signed and when the order was delivered. When Valmont placed an order for 2,000 short tons of hotrolled coil last September, the selling price was $1,010 per short ton; when shipped in November, HRC was selling for $820/s.t. Valmont contended that the steel did not meet specifications and refused to process it into tubes, according to the complaint. US Steel is being sued by distributor JD Fields of Houston for $992,000. The complaint states that USS agreed to sell Fields 800 feet of pipe for $2,205 per tonne, but then changed the terms of the agreement. Fields claims that after it had already accepted an order from a customer based on this price, USS told the company it needed a 100-tonne minimum to fill the order, which would be rolled in April. Fields said it agreed and then was informed on May 30 that USS would not honor the agreement. The dispute also involves a 6,150 ft seamless pipe order and a pipe invoice price that was allegedly 57% higher than agreed.
and more lawsuits US mill antitrust case --A series of lawsuits have been filed against nine US producers contending they fixed prices and coordinated outages to keep prices high. Each case alleges the mills conspired to "fix, raise, maintain and stabilize the price at which steel products were sold in the US" beginning in 2005. Russian steelmaker Novolipetsk will pay DBO Holdings $234m to settle a lawsuit over NLMK's failure to purchase North American tubemaking group John Maneely Co. The payment is due within four business days of yesterday's signing of the agreement, Steel Business Briefing notes. NLMK last November terminated the deal to purchase the Maneely assets for $3.5bn and was sued for breach of contract by DBO on behalf of the Carlyle Group, which owns Maneely. "The agreement provides for the full mutual release and discharge by NLMK and DBO from their claims arising from the transaction," NLMK states. In early January pre-trial dockets seen by SBB, NLMK denied the breach claim saying it terminated the agreement properly. The steelmaker also asserted that Maneely was not entitled to a claim for more than the termination fee in the merger agreement. The amount of the fee was not disclosed. Maneely owns 11 NA plants with total pipe and tube production capacity of over 3m short tons per year.
Summary Prices will continue to decline Demand will remain weak No improvement until H2.10 Service centers still buying amongst themselves US raw steel output should be near bottom Non-residential construction downturn just getting underway
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