AK Steel targets contract business

Oct 23, 2012 | 04:28 PM | Anne Riley

Tags  AK Steel, James Wainscott, steel, carbon steel, sheet, contract business, Anne Riley

NEW YORK — AK Steel Corp. is increasingly targeting long-term contract business over spot sales as it looks to minimize its exposure to the "extreme volatility" that now characterizes the carbon steel spot market, company chairman, president and chief executive officer James L. Wainscott said.

"Mini-cycles (in spot market pricing) make planning and forecasting, let alone selling and operating, extremely difficult," Wainscott said during an earnings call Tuesday. "It is not our intent to exit the spot market, but we’ll be concentrating on growing our percentage of contract business."

According to Wainscott, the West Chester, Ohio-based steelmaker only sold about 20 percent of its output into the spot market prior to the financial crisis, but as "the world changed" that mix shifted closer to a 50-50 split.....





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