NEW YORK In addition to any positive outcome from the trade complaint against oil country tubular goods (OCTG) from nine countries, gas drilling also will have to show a pickup for Vallourec SAs U.S. prices to show improvement next year, according to a top executive.
"If anti-dumping is a positive factor ... for our pricing policy, we always said that any rebound of prices also would be conditioned on the restart of activity on gas drilling and will be conditioned on the level of capex that we see now until the end of the year. Nothing is only dependant on the anti-dumping factor," Didier Hornet, managing director of the companys OCTG division, said during a third-quarter earnings conference call.
Meanwhile, the Boulogne-Billancourt, France-based pipe and tube maker continues to ramp up its new OCTG facilities in Brazil and Youngstown, Ohio. "VSB (in Brazil) is today in the fourth quarter running at about two-thirds of its nominal capacity, and VM2 (in Youngstown) is ramping up the end-finishing, which is today the bottleneck to deliver the 2014 (production) plan," Hornet said. Vallourec officially opened the Youngstown plant in June (amm.com, June 12).
The companys North Americas sales totaled 1.06 billion ($1.42 billion) in the first nine months of this year, down 6 percent from 1.13 billion in the same period last year as the preponderance of shale oil drilling has meant greater demand for lower-margin semi-premium connections, according to its earnings report.