NEW YORK U.S.
crude steel production will increase 4 percent this year to
about 90.5 million tonnes from 87 million tonnes in 2013,
boosted by increased demand for industrial production and
housing starts, according to Metal Bulletin Research (MBR).
Ferrous scrap demand
will climb nearly 7 percent to 64 million tonnes in 2014 from
about 60 million tonnes last year, MBR metals analyst Brad
MacAulay told attendees at AMMs 19th Annual
Mexican Steel Forum in Cancun. "U.S. scrap consumption will
increase at a faster pace than crude steel output owing to
higher capacity utilization rates at electric-arc furnace steel
mills," he said.
Increased demand also
is seen offering some support to iron metallics prices,
although expectations of lower global iron ore prices in 2014
will counter some of the increase in crude steel output putting
pressure on metallics prices at the margin, according to
MacAulay. "As a result, prices are expected to remain
range-bound but slightly higher than average prices in 2013,
primarily garnering support by the continued recovery in U.S.
crude steel output."
MBR expects U.S. pig
iron imports to be impacted by Charlotte, N.C.-based Nucor
Corp.s recently opened direct-reduced iron facility in
"As production ramps
up, import volumes of pig iron from Brazil are expected to
fall. That being said, increased levels of crude output will
increase demand for iron metallics, offsetting some of the
decline. MBR expects that the net impact will result in a 10-
to 15-percent decline from levels seen in 2013this is a
very conservative estimatein pig iron imports," MacAulay