NEW YORK SSAB
Americas returned to profitability in the third quarter thanks
to recovering plate prices and a gradual improvement in the
The Lisle, Ill.-based
steelmaker, a subsidiary of Stockholm-based SSAB AB, posted
operating earnings of 53 million kronor ($8.4 million) for the
three months ended Sept. 30 in contrast to a 49-million-kronor
loss in the second quarter, although they were down 78.9
percent from earnings of 251 million kronor in the third
quarter of last year.
"There is currently a
positive momentum in the market," Martin Lindqvist, president
and chief executive officer of the Swedish parent, said of the
U.S. market environment. "We have seen the spot plate prices in
the U.S. recover during the summer, fall off slightly during
the latter part of the quarter and now start to move up again.
We expect steel consumption and plate consumption to continue
upwards according to the market and the general
SSAB Americas recorded
third-quarter sales of 3.64 billion kronor ($578.9 million), up
3.7 percent from 3.51 billion kronor in the second quarter but
down 0.8 percent from 3.67 billion kronor a year ago. The
year-over-year reduction in sales was due to lower prices,
negative currency effects and a weaker product mix, the company
The parent company
said in a conference call Oct. 25 that its third-quarter
earnings were hit by a 50-million-kronor ($7.9-million) cost
related to a planned outage at its Mobile, Ala., facility. The
company had previously said it would pull forward part of the
outageoriginally planned for the fourth quarterinto
the third quarter due to "market reasons," and said it was on
target to take the second part of its outage in early 2014.
"We have no planned
outages in the U.S. in the fourth quarter," Lindqvist said,
adding that the company can decide when to take the outage
"depending on market outlooks."
announced a number of price hikes recently, including a
$30-per-ton increase earlier this month and a $20-per-ton hike
in the past week (
amm.com, Oct. 24). Lindqvist said the increases
were necessary to get better value for its products.
"Effective (Oct. 24),
we introduced another $20 per ton. The reason why we did that
is because we had a strong order book and good order intake,"
he said. "We will continue, as a market leader, to increase the
margin over scrap and help the market do that."