Severstal NA sees pickup despite mart concerns

May 25, 2012 | 09:01 AM | Catherine Ngai

Tags  Sergei Kuznetsov, Severstal NA, imports, flat-rolled, steel, catherine ngai

NEW YORK — Severstal North America Inc. expects strong demand growth in the second half of 2012 as it aims to capitalize on the rebounding automotive and energy sectors, chief executive officer Sergei Kuznetsov told AMM.

"The first quarter was very good and the second quarter was decent. Looking ahead at the rest of the year, we think demand is growing, and definitely so year over year," he said in an interview.

Kuznetsov forecasts a 6- to 6.5-percent demand improvement this year in the North America Free Trade Agreement flat-rolled steel segment, although a number of challenges continue to pressure the U.S. steel pricing environment, including excess supply, rising imports and instability in Europe.

U.S. raw steel production has been on an uptrend in recent months, with nearly 1.98 million net tons produced in the week ended May 19 at an average capability utilization rate of 80 percent (AMM, May 23) compared with 1.78 million tons produced in the same week last year at a 72.7-percent utilization rate. ....

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