LONDON Acerinox SA,
parent company of North American Stainless Inc. (NAS), saw a
sharp drop in first-quarter earnings due to falling nickel and
stainless steel base prices, the company said April 23.
The Madrid-based stainless
producer posted net income of 15.31 million ($19.9
million) for the three months ended March 31, down 47.9 percent
from 29.36 million in the same period last year. Sales
fell 15.8 percent to 1.04 billion ($1.35 billion) from
1.23 billion in the same comparison due to fewer sales,
lower stainless steel prices and nickel weakness.
"Doubts about the economic
recovery and prudence on the market have stopped the
traditional restocking process of the first quarter," Acerinox
The European market suffered a
6.8-percent decline in apparent steel consumption in the first
quarter, although Acerinox hopes that Outokumpu Oyjs
acquisition of Inoxum Group will bring more clarity to the
"We hope that the long merger
process between Outokumpu and Inoxum clears up, as well as the
sale of (Inoxums) Italian plant, Terni, which is causing
a lot of uncertainty," the stainless steel producer said.
"The situation in the American
market, Acerinoxs first market, is very different and has
grown by 9.2 percent in the first two months of the year," it
said. "However, import pressure is hindering expected price
The company said its Americas
market accounted for 49 percent of its sales in 2012.
In Asia, where Acerinox saw
unchanged levels of activity before and after the Chinese New
Year holiday, the company has launched Phase II of its Bahru
Stainless joint venture in Malaysia with Japan-based Nisshin
Steel Co. Ltd.
The companys first-quarter melt shop production
totaled 586,933 tonnes, up 4.4 percent from a year
A version of this article was first published by AMM sister
publication Steel First.