NEW YORK Stainless scrap
market participants are backing an analyst's prediction that
the ramp-up of Outokumpu Oyjs mill in Calvert, Ala.,
could push the U.S. market into deficit.
"The U.S. could turn from a net
exporter to a net importer (of stainless scrap) when
Outokumpus Calvert plant is in full operation," Markus
Moll, managing director of Austrias Steel & Metals
Market Research GmbH (SMR), said last week at the Metals
Service Center Institutes Specialty Metals Division
Conference in Carlsbad, Calif.
"For the United States market,
the scrap was always an advantage because you can buy it at the
best terms here. And Outokumpu will probably use that
advantage," he said. "Probably a few years from now there will
be no scrap going eastbound for Asia."
The Calvert plant is likely to
draw a significant amount of scrap from the market, scrap
market participants told AMM, but they dont
expect this to happen until the facility approaches full
"If theyre going to go
anywhere near their boilerplate capacity, its likely that
North America will be in a scrap deficit. But theyre not
there now and the traditional scrap export markets that the
U.S. fills arent that great. ... Scrap could be a little
tight moving forward, but I think wed have to see a
significant increase in U.S. production and export demand (for
that to happen)," one scrap processor said.
"If Calvert goes toward even
80-percent capacity, then its probably going to get
tight, but its down the road a ways," he added.
A scrap dealer agreed that the
trend wouldnt play out until the Calvert site ramped up
further, noting that it will likely source the majority of its
scrap from the U.S. Southeast.
"Supposedly, theyre going
to use 150,000 tons of scrap a year, but Im not sure
about that until I see it happen," he said.
"Theyre not going to be a
serious player (in scrap buying) this year," a second processor
The Calvert facility is expected
to reach its full capacity of 75,000 tons per month in 2015,
Outokumpu told AMM in January.
A spokesman for Outokumpu
declined to comment.