NEW YORK Outokumpu Stainless USA LLC says it plans to be
competitive on pricing as it targets a 25-percent
share in the North American stainless market by 2014.
With the company currently ramping up production at the
Calvert, Ala., facility it acquired through a 2012 merger with
Duisburg, Germany-based Inoxum Group, parent of ThyssenKrupp
Stainless USA LLC, chief executive officer Michael Wallis told
AMM that the company is preparing to gain market share.
Our intention is to be competitive on pricing,
Wallis said. Its what Ive told all our
customers, and Ive visited with many of them in the last
six months. Our goal is not to undercut on pricing; our goal is
to be competitive. We believe well take market share as
we ramp up this facility because of the capabilities and
One of those capabilities is the production of 72-inch-wide
coils, which makes the facility unique among U.S. stainless
plants, Wallis said.
He added that Outokumpu was staying mindful of
ThyssenKrupps previously stated goal of attaining 25
percent market share by 2014, although he noted that this
target covered the entire North American Free Trade Agreement
(Nafta) region and not just the United States.
2013 was always going to be a ramp-up year, he
said. My expectation is that well ramp up the melt
shop this year, and in 2014 we would be looking to get roughly
25 percent. Its not a specific number.
Espoo, Finland-based parent company Outokumpu Oyj said earlier
this month that the combined market share of the Calvert
facility and its facility in San Luis Potosí, Mexico,
stood at around 20 percent (
amm.com, Jan. 8
Melt shop director Guido Stebner said Jan. 24 that the shop is
currently producing around 10,000 to 12,000 tonnes of stainless
per month and has an eventual production target of around
75,000 tonnes per month. The company expects to hit this
capacity in 2015, Wallis added.
The company is currently on a recruitment drive for another 150
workers, as the melt shop looks to move to round-the-clock
production capability from its current Tuesday-to-Friday
Outokumpu business development specialist John Garrett said
that all of the personnel currently located at Calvert would
remain with the company, with most of the consolidation from
the Inoxum merger set to take place in the European market.
Wallis was also bullish on the long-term prospects for the
stainless market, despite a relative lull in prices over the
last few years. When you look at the markets that
stainless finds itself in from an OEM (original equipment
manufacturer) standpoint, many of those industries are expected
to grow significantly over the next five to 10 years. So we
think were in a very good position, he said.
The stainless market, like all markets, has seen a
reduction in demand over the last few years, but that
wont slow down the growth here, he added.
According to AMMs
pricing assessment, 304
cold-rolled sheet is currently trading at $140 per
hundredweight up from $129 per hundredweight in December 2012
but down from $160 per hundredweight in March 2012.