NEW YORK Stainless steel demand in North America increased 6 percent year on year in the second quarter, according to North American Stainless Inc. (NAS) parent company Acerinox SA.
Ghent, Ky.-based NAS stainless output "has therefore gathered momentum," Acerinox said in its July 21 earnings report, with lead times extended and orders being negotiated for after the summer. It noted two price hikes in the second quarter, each at $80 per tonne.
Domestic industry leader NAS most recent stainless steel price increase took effect June 1 (amm.com, May 14), and followed a similar move in April (amm.com, March 17). The company has yet to comment on a proposed August increase by Pittsburgh-based Allegheny Technologies Inc. (amm.com, July 21).
"Almost all of the consumer sectors are performing satisfactorily," Madrid-based Acerinox said, citing the "catering equipment, energy and transport" end markets.
The U.S. economy "is continuing to respond to the expansionist monetary policy applied by the Federal Reserve," it said, noting that exports are being "driven by the dollar exchange rates."
NAS achieved record production in the first quarter following an 8-percent increase in North American stainless steel consumption (amm.com, April 24). The companys lead times are reportedly extended well into the fourth quarter, stainless market participants said.
Acerinox reported second-quarter earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (Ebitda) of 124.25 million ($168.1 million), more than doubling Ebitda of 50.81 million in the same period last year.
Net sales totaled 2.17 billion ($2.93 billion) in the first half of the year, up 4.8 percent from 2.07 billion in the year-ago period, which the company attributed to "a 12-percent hike in the volume of sales in tons."
Earnings after taxes and minorities totaled 76.1 million ($102.9 million) for the first six months of the year, up nearly fivefold from 16.1 million a year earlier.