NEW YORK Pipe and tube maker Tenaris SA expects lower sales in North America this year, but burgeoning demand for premium oil country tubular goods (OCTG) in sub-Saharan Africa and the Middle East will lead to moderate sales growth overall.
Demand from European industrial markets is also expected to remain tepid, the Luxembourg-based company said in its annual report.
North American sales growth was largely responsible for the companys improved financial performance last year (amm.com, Feb. 22
The steelmaker expects steady operating margins this year, with improved product mix and efficiencies offset by lower prices for commodity products, according to the report. Competition for standard products has increased as producers in Russia and China have stepped up production and exports.
The cost of raw materialsincluding steel coils, ferroalloys and ferrous scrapfor the companys seamless and welded products is expected to remain flat with 2012 levels, when prices for the commodities fell from the year prior as a result of weak steel consumption.
The company recently announced it will build a new seamless OCTG mill in Bay City, Texas, at a cost of $1.5 billion (amm.com, March 13