ArcelorMittal SA, the worlds largest steelmaker, remains
interested in ThyssenKrupp AGs rolling facility in
Calvert, Ala., according to its top executive.
"On Alabama, we have
said before that we continue to remain interested. We think
that it is a good asset and it could (help) our franchise in
the United States," Lakshmi Mittal, chairman and chief
executive officer of the Luxembourg-based steelmaker, told
analysts during a Nov. 7 conference call on its third-quarter
When asked about the
companys interest in ThyssenKrupps slab facility,
Cia. Siderúrgica do Atlântico SA, which is also up
for sale, Mittal said the "one thing that we are not is short
market participants has mounted recently that an imminent deal
for ThyssenKrupps Alabama facility could be announced in
the coming days, and that the likely buyers would be
ArcelorMittal and Tokyo-based Nippon Steel & Sumitomo Metal
Last May, ThyssenKrupp
said it was mulling strategic options for its Steel Americas
operations, calling into doubt its business model of shipping
slab made in Brazil to finishing facilities in Alabama (
amm.com, May 15, 2012).
For the quarter ended
Sept. 30, the company said it has seen a "clear improvement"
across its business sectors compared with the same period a
year ago, adding that the "low point" of the cycle was in the
second half of 2012.
shipments are up year on year. This is the first notable
year-on-year increase in shipments since the first quarter of
2010," Mittal said.
At its Dofasco plant
in Hamilton, Ontario, ArcelorMittal has been making progress
toward optimizing costs and increasing shipments of galvanizing
products. As a result, it will restart construction of its No.
6 heavy-gauge galvanizing line, which has an annual capacity of
660,000 tons, and will close its smaller No. 2 line, which has
a 400,000-ton capacity. The new line will also incorporate
advanced high-strength steel capability. The project is
expected to be completed by 2015.
The Flat Carbon
Americas unit raised crude steel output by 13.5 percent to 6.3
million tons in the third quarter. This was due to "significant
improvement" in the U.S. market after the resolution of labor
issues at its Burns Harbor, Ind., mill and operational
incidents at Indiana Harbor East and West that had impacted
results in the prior quarter, ArcelorMittal said.
Steel shipments in the
segment totaled 5.76 million tons, up 6.5 percent from 5.41
million tons in the previous quarter, driven primarily by
higher shipment volumes in North America.
The division recorded
sales of $4.92 billion in the quarter, up 2.8 percent from
$4.79 billion in the second quarter due to higher shipments
offset by lower average selling prices, particularly in Mexico
and South America. Average selling prices fell 3.2 percent
quarter on quarter to $804 per ton from $831 per ton.
But while underlying
fundamentals look positive in the U.S. market, steel demand has
been impacted by the sequestration in the first half of the
year and a U.S. government shutdown in the second half, issues
that have "shaken up" consumer confidence in the region, Mittal
said. However, automotive sales and appliance demand remain
When asked about the
recent higher pricing in the sheet market compared with global
pricing, Louis L. Schorsch, chief executive officer of
ArcelorMittals Flat Carbon Americas unit, confirmed that
the differential is an area of concern.
"We see more of a
stable market in the U.S. today and in general for finished
product prices. We see some support for (high prices)
particularly because of key raw materials, and our immediate
expectation is that itll be up at least $25 (per gross
ton) and through the end of the year another $50 up (per ton),"
he said. "But I think we all recognize that ultimately, this is
a global market ... and that the current spread between North
American prices and those in other markets are wider.
Thats a spread thats unsustainable."
ArcelorMittal USA LLC, Chicago, had a planned outage at its
Cleveland facility to reline its blast furnace (
amm.com, June 19).
The outage, which took
about 100,000 net tons offline per month, will produce at a
higher level when it comes back online in November, Schorsch
The company also
reversed its forecast for the U.S. steel market, saying that
while it was in "positive territory" at the start of the year,
it has reissued an apparent steel consumption forecast of minus
1 percent to zero compared with 2012, down from a 2- to
3-percent forecast earlier this year, due to destocking and
ArcelorMittal posted a
third-quarter net loss of $193 million, down 75.3 percent from
a year-earlier net loss of $780 million, on sales that fell 2.7
percent to $19.64 billion.