NEW YORK U.S. tinplate mills have lost money on tin- and chromium-coated sheet in 13 of the past 15 years, according to an International Trade Commission (ITC) report.
The tinplate mills lost $92 for each ton of tin mill products produced in 2011, for example, the report said. The only years in which mills operated at a profit were in 2003 and 2009, when they made $8 per ton and $73 per ton, respectively, on tin- and chromium-coated steel sheet.
While the value of producers net sales grew during the period, raw materials costs increased at a quicker pace and ate into those gains, the ITC said in the staff report, which was compiled for a sunset review on whether to maintain duties on U.S. imports of tin- and chromium-coated sheet from Japan.
Since 2006, when the commission last reviewed the decision, U.S. producers domestic shipments have shrunk to 2.2 million tons from 2.7 million tons, although the value of those shipments has risen to $2.2 billion from $2 billion.
The report was based on responses from five producersArcelorMittal USA, Chicago; Ohio Coatings Co., Yorkville, Ohio; RG Steel LLC, Sparrows Point, Md.; U.S. Steel Corp., Pittsburgh; and USS Posco Industries, Pittsburg, Calif.and 11 responding purchasers of the material.
The ITC decided in May to maintain the duties against Japanese imports (AMM, May 16).