Friday, March 6, 2009

Steel Trade Today - Saturday, Mar 07, 2009

STEEL TRADE TODAY
Indian Edition
Chandra Sekhar Saturday, Mar 07, 2009
Price Index - India
  06-Mar 05-Mar Change
ILPPI 6662 6688 -26
IFPPI 6658 6658 0
INDSPI 6660 6674 -14
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Indian

Indian Long Product Price Index reflects downtrend

TATA Steel sales in February up by 47% YoY

Indian import parity price for HRC goes down in 1 week

Mr Jim Leng steps down as Corus chairman

Mr Choon-Kuhn Kwon is new CMD of POSCO India

Indian import parity price for billets goes down in 1 week

Next 5 years very tough for TATA Steel - Mr Muthuraman

Long product prices continue slide for the 2nd day

Steel makers demand tax cut on SBQ plates

Pencil ingot prices remain under pressure in India

Auto and construction sectors push February steel demand

Scrap prices dip at Mandi Gobindgarh

JSPL allotted Ramchandi Promotional coal block for CTL project

Downsizing deals - JLR staff agree for pay freeze and 4 day week

Oceanic Shipyard project faces land delay

Others

HR prices crash by USD 50 at Black Sea this week

Indian iron ore spot prices continue southward march

CIS FOB Black Sea billet prices crash by 11% this week

Production pruning - Wuhan Steel cuts production by 20%

Production pruning -Usiminas shuts BF for 90 days

Downsizing deals - Layoffs announced at ArcelorMittal Steel

Indian thermal coal importers suffer losses as prices crash

Recession reports - US February job losses record high in 6o years

Russian steelmakers raise output 15% to 17% in February

Russian coal exports plummet in January

German 2009 steel output may fall below 40 million tonnes

Felix studying coal acquisitions in India and Indonesia

Shougang in talks to buy Changzhi steel

Salzgitter AG 2008 net sales up by 22.6% YoY

Iron ore price negotiations - Hebei Steel sees deal in April

Japanese January steel export down by 34.4% YoY

JSL and Bombardier disagree on long term pricing

Chinese rebar and wire rod prices remain under pressure

SAIL coking coal imports likely to touch 10.5 million tonne

List of Kremikovtzi suitors short - Mr Dimitrov

Baosteel may drop out of JV with Handan Steel - Report

Egyptian rebars makers facing price turmoil

PT Bayan sees 2009 coal output up by 56%

Wuhan Steel reduces April prices

Chinese plate sold at EUR 385 FOT Ravenna in Italy

Leighton HWE Unit won AUD 400 million Pilbara contract

Steel prices are close to output costs - Baosteel

US slabs buyers waiting for drop in prices to USD 300 CFR levels

Indonesia may miss 2009 coal output target - Official

Emirates Steel receives first sea shipment of iron oxide pellets


Indian Long Product Price Index reflects downtrend

- 07 Mar 2009

The domestic Indian Steel Price Index continued downslide on March 6th 2009. The Indian Long Product Price Index ILPPI dropped by 26 points whereas Indian Flat Product Price Index IFPPI remained unchanged. The overall Indian Steel Price Index INDSPI slide by 14 points.

Class05-Mar06-MarChange
ILPPI66886662-26
IFPPI665866580
INDSPI66746660-14

ILPPI - Long Product Price Index
IFPPI - Flat Product Price Index
INDSPI - Indian Steel Price Index

Long Products:
Category05-Mar06-MarChange
PI - TMT64666431-36
PI - WRC71867160-26
PI - Angle63016288-13
PI - Channel63416338-3
PI - Joist58555848-7

Flat Products:
Category05-Mar06-MarChange
PI - Narrow Plates629362930
PI - Wide Plates671967190
PI - Hot Rolled648364830
PI - Cold Rolled722272220
PI - Galvanized693169310


To know more about these indices please visit
http://steelprices-india.com/spi_services/spi.html

To know exact prevailing steel prices in India in 22 locations on daily basis, subscribe to services of www.steelprices-india.com by registering or sending a mail to admin@steelprices-india.com with full contact details. Please note that this is a paid service.

(Sourced from www.steelprices-india.com)

TATA Steel sales in February up by 47% YoY

- 07 Mar 2009

TATA Steel recorded a 47% rise in sales in February 2009, compared with sales in the corresponding month of 2008 production of hot metal, crude steel and saleable steel in February 2009 went up by 19%, 12% and 21%, respectively, over February 2008.

The comparative figures are appended below:

Production & Sales Performance

ItemsFeb'09Feb'08Change
Hot Metal51743619%
Crude Steel46641712%
Saleable Steel49841021%
Sales58439747%


Performance highlights of February 2009
1. 65% increase in long product sales over February 2008.
2. 37% increase in flat product sales over February 2008.
3. Steel Melting Shops recorded best ever February production of crude steel at 465,985 tonnes

Indian import parity price for HRC goes down in 1 week

- 07 Mar 2009

As per market prices prevailing at Mumbai on March 5 2009, import parity pricing for HRC in tube making grade is about USD 483 per tonne on CNF basis as compared to USD 486 per tonne as on February 26th 2009.

Following expenses are factored in
1. Port expenses at INR 400 per tonne for break bulk
2. Margin of INR 1500 per tonne
3. Conversion rate of USD to INR - 51.7

(Conversion rate on February 26th was 51.3)

But, on the other hand, FOB Black Sea levels for HRC crashed by USD 50 per tonne improving viability of HR imports into India.

To know more details on steel prices subscribe to services of www.steelprices-india.com by registering or send a mail to admin@steelprices-india.com with contact details. Kindly note that this is a paid service

(Sourced from www.steelprices-india.com)

Mr Jim Leng steps down as Corus chairman

- 07 Mar 2009

It is reported that Mr Jim Leng has decided to step down as chairman of TATA Steel Europe on March 30th 2009.

He joined the Board of Corus Group plc in June 2001 as a non executive director, becoming deputy chairman and senior Independent director in April 2002 and chairman in June 2003.

The new chairman of TATA Steel Europe will be Mr Andrew Robb. Mr Robb is a former finance director of Pilkington plc. He became a non-executive director of Corus Group plc in 2003 and of TATA Steel Limited in 2007.

Mr Ratan TATA chairman of the TATA Group said that “Since our acquisition of Corus 2 years ago Mr Jim Leng has been a hugely important figure in the process of bringing Corus into the TATA Family. We wish him well in all his future endeavors.”

Mr Philippe Varin CEO of Corus said that “Jim persuaded me to join Corus 6 years ago. We have had an extraordinarily exciting and rewarding time working together and I have greatly appreciated his wise counsel and support during my time with Corus and TATA Steel Group.”

Mr Jim Leng said that “After eight years on the Corus Board and 5 years as chairman I’ve made the decision to move on. I feel this is an appropriate time, 2 years into the integration phase following the takeover. I have thoroughly enjoyed my time at Corus and leave with unique experiences, fond memories and many friends.

He said that “I am also delighted to be able to hand over the reins to Andrew Robb, a long time friend and colleague.”

Mr Choon-Kuhn Kwon is new CMD of POSCO India

- 07 Mar 2009

It is reported that Mr Choon-Kuhn Kwon, 55, a director of POSCO, has been appointed as the new CMD of POSCO India.

POSCO said that “Mr Kwon is well acquainted with the Jagatsinghpur project and has been associated with it since its conceptualization.”

Mr Kwon's appointment comes after Mr Soung Sik Cho left Orissa for South Korea last month after a three-year stint as CMD of POSCO India.

Indian import parity price for billets goes down in 1 week

- 07 Mar 2009

As per market prices prevailing at Mumbai on March 5 2009, import parity pricing for billets is about USD 397 per tonne on CNF basis as compared to USD 409 per tonne as on February 26th 2009.

Following expenses are factored in
1. Port expenses at INR 400 per tonne for break bulk
2. Margin of INR 500
3. Conversion rate of USD to INR - 51.7

(Conversion rate on February 26th was 51.3)

But, on the other hand, the global levels have come down substantially improving viability of billet imports into India.

To know more details on steel prices subscribe to services of www.steelprices-india.com by registering or send a mail to admin@steelprices-india.com with contact details. Kindly note that this is a paid service

(Sourced from www.steelprices-india.com)

Next 5 years very tough for TATA Steel - Mr Muthuraman

- 07 Mar 2009

The Financial Express quoted Mr B Muthuraman MD of TATA Steel as saying that the next 5 years will be very tough for it.

He said that “The next 5 years will be very, very tough years, adding with the onset of a global slowdown, the company will also be facing difficult challenges in the coming years.”

Mr Muthuraman said that the last 5 to 6 years had been very good times for the company as apart from contribution from all sides, it was also helped by favorable conditions in the market.

He said that calling on the synergy between the company management and the union to tide over the crisis, it is in this time of difficulty that the real test of the relationship between the management and the union will come out.

He added that both the management and the union leadership will have to demonstrate maturity of mind, fairness while keeping in mind the long term goals of the company as well as survival of the company uppermost rather than look for attaining short term gains and successes.

He said that “The company and the union had not gone through such a test for many years now although the company did come out with flying colors several times in the past 101 years of its existence.”

(Sourced from The Financial Express)

Long product prices continue slide for the 2nd day

- 07 Mar 2009

The sad story of long products prices was accentuated by a further fall in TMT prices by 2% in Mumbai and Ahmedabad.

The prices of structural steel too plummeted by up to 1% in major locations viz Mumbai, Delhi & Ahmedabad.

Mumbai

ItemGradeSizeChange%
TMTFe 41512mm-563-1.9%
ANGLGR A65x6-225-0.7%
CHNLGR A75/100-225-0.7%
JSTIGR A250x125-225-0.7%

Change is on March 6th 2009 as compared to March 5th 2009
Change is in INR per tonne

Delhi
CHNLGradeSizeChange%
TMTFe 41512mm00.0%
WRCSWR145.5/6-453-1.4%
CHNLGR A75/10000.0%
JSTIGR A250x12500.0%

Change is on March 6th 2009 as compared to March 5th 2009
Change is in INR per tonne

Ahmedabad
ItemGradeSizeChange%
TMTFe 41512mm-563-1.9%
ANGLGR A65x600.0%
CHNLGR A75/1001690.6%
JSTIGR A250x125-208-0.7%

Change is on March 6th 2009 as compared to March 5th 2009
Change is in INR per tonne

Kanpur
ItemGradeSizeChange%
TMTFe 41512mm-300-0.9%
ANGLGR A65x6-400-1.2%
JSTIGR A250x12500.0%
WRCSWR145.5/6-178-0.6%

Change is on March 6th 2009 as compared to March 5th 2009
Change is in INR per tonne

Mandi
ItemGradeSizeChange%
ANGLGR A65x6-104-0.3%
CHNLGR A75/100-104-0.3%
JSTIGR A250x12500.0%

Change is on March 6th 2009 as compared to March 5th 2009
Change is in INR per tonne

To know exact prevailing steel prices in India in 22 locations on daily basis, subscribe to services of www.steelprices-india.com by registering or sending a mail to admin@steelprices-india.com with full contact details. Please note that this is a paid service.

(Sourced from www.steelprices-india.com)

Steel makers demand tax cut on SBQ plates

- 07 Mar 2009

PTI reported that leading Indian steel makers have demanded a level playing field for catering to the domestic shipyards as excise duty and taxes rendered it uncompetitive with its foreign peers.

A leading steel industry official said that “We are capable of producing equally good quality of shipbuilding plates for the use of the shipyard industry. However, burdened with around 16% duties and taxes, we are loosing to steel makers abroad since their exports do not attract any tax. This gives undue price advantage of over 14% to 16% to foreign steel mills over domestic steel makers.”

Industry official said that “The levy of excise duty is becoming a stumbling block for domestic steel makers to cater to this segment. If such supplies are exempted, we will also be competitive enough to supply the shipbuilding plates required in a shipyard.”

The official said that “We are capable of producing such shipbuilding plates in India. But, the payment of duties by domestic steel makers acts as a negative trade barrier benefiting the foreign steel suppliers.”

Steel makers have urged the government to either exempt such supplies from payment of excise duties or treat them as deemed exports so that Indian steel makers could compete on equal footing with foreign mills. The deemed exports treatment would enable domestic steel makers to be eligible for refunds of excise duty on such supplies.

(Sourced from Press Trust of India

Pencil ingot prices remain under pressure in India

- 07 Mar 2009

It is reported that the prices of pencil ingot continue to slip on March 5th 2009.

Pencil ingot

LocationChange%
Mumbai-300-1.3%
Mandi-462-1.9%
Raipur 00.0%
Kanpur -444-1.9%
Kolkata00.0%
Ghaziabad-200-0.8%
Muzzafarnagar-355-1.5%
Ahmedabad00.0%

Change is on March 6th 2009 as compared to March 5th 2009
Change is in INR per tonne

To know exact prevailing steel prices in India in 22 locations on daily basis, subscribe to services of www.steelprices-india.com by registering or sending a mail to admin@steelprices-india.com with full contact details. Please note that this is a paid service.

(Sourced from www.steelprices-india.com)

Auto and construction sectors push February steel demand

- 07 Mar 2009

PTI reported that backed by improved demand from automobile and construction sectors, the consumption of steel increased by 5.7% to 4.45 million tonne in February. In the corresponding month last fiscal, the consumption stood at 4.21 million tonne.

Mr PK Rastogi Steel Secretary said that "Both steel production and consumption increased in February on account of a gradual revival in demand."

As automobile sector posted a robust growth last month, it had a reflection on the domestic steel output too, which went up by 2.8% to 4.74 million tonne in February, as per the data of the Steel Ministry.

An official said that besides, increased demand from consuming sectors, what led to the increase in consumption and production of steel last month was an over 40% surge in imports to 3.5 million tonnes and 17% dip in exports to 3.2 million tonne.

Even as demand showed signs of recovery last month, in April to February period it declined by 1.3% to 47.38 million tonne. During the corresponding period of the last financial year, the consumption stood at 46.78 million tonne.

Meanwhile, the domestic steel production, however, increased by 1.3% during the period under review to 51.50 million tonne from 50.85 million tonne.

(Sourced from Press Trust of India)

Scrap prices dip at Mandi Gobindgarh

- 07 Mar 2009

It is reported that the prices of 80:20 HMS at Mandi Gobindgarh weakened by about 1% on March 5th 2009.

To know exact prevailing steel prices in India in 22 locations on daily basis, subscribe to services of www.steelprices-india.com by registering or sending a mail to admin@steelprices-india.com with full contact details. Please note that this is a paid service.

(Sourced from www.steelprices-india.com)

JSPL allotted Ramchandi Promotional coal block for CTL project

- 07 Mar 2009

Jindal Steel & Power Ltd has announced that Government of India has allotted Ramchandi Promotional Coal Block in Orissa to Jindal Steel & Power Ltd on February 27th 2009 for the proposed Coal to Liquid project.

The prestigious CTL project is yet another feather in JSPL's cap. The project will produce 80000 barrels per day crude using environment friendly Indirect Coal Liquification technology developed by M/S Lurgi of Germany for the first time in India. This project, when completed, will enhance energy security by reducing dependence on imported crude.

This project will require 30 million tonne per annum washed coal for 80,000 barrels per day and the middling & rejects will be used for generating 1350 MW power. The entire project cost is estimated to be around INR 42000 crore including CTL plant, coal mining and power plant. This project will be based on Fixed Bed Dry Bottom Technology of Lurgi, which is best suited for Indian coal having high ash. It is worth mentioning that our technical partner Lurgi, Germany has designed all Syngas production units for all currently operating FT plants all over the world. This is the only commercially proven technology for use of high ash coal worldwide and high ash fusion temperature of Indian coal is uniquely suitable to this technology.

Beside, this project will maximize diesel up to 60% to 70% production by using low temperature Fischer Tropsch process. JSPL is in advance stage of implementation of 6 million tonne per annum mega steel plant at Angul and capacity of this plant is going to be increased to 12.5 million tonne per annum.

JSPL is the first Company to bring coal gasification technology to India for this proposed steel plant. We have already placed orders for 2 gasifier units on Lurgi for our upcoming steel plants in Orissa and Chattisgarh. The proposed CTL plant will be located in Tehsil Kishore Nagar, Dist Angul, Orissa. The site has been selected keeping in mind availability of land, water, rail & road connectivity and is around 70 kilometers from Ramchandi Promotional Block. The proposed technology is extremely environment friendly as the crude produced by the process will have very low Polyaromatics. C02 will be captured and used in fertilizer industries or for inert purposes. 100% recycling of water is planned. Ash generated will be used for road building, brick making, cement manufacturing and back filling of mines. The technology involves almost 100% recovery of sulphur as elemental Sulphur which will be used in fertilizer industry.

Meanwhile, JSPL has a track record of successfully executing green field projects in the country. JSPL has also been very successful in Orissa in land acquisition and handling R & R issues. It has been recently awarded Think Odisha Leadership Award instituted by Times of India and TEFLA for its appreciation in carrying out CSR activities.

Downsizing deals - JLR staff agree for pay freeze and 4 day week

- 07 Mar 2009

PTI reported that Jaguar Land Rover employees have agreed to a 1 year pay freeze and a 4 day week to save their jobs currently threatened by falling sales and economic downturn.

The JLR workers accepted the cost saving measures in a ballot conducted by unions GMB and Unite involving 15,000 workers. 70% of the union members accepted the measures that will save JLR GBP 70 million a year.

A joint statement by Unite and the GMB said that "Our members in JLR deserve better much better. The management agreed with our view that, when this unprecedented recession ends, the retention of a skilled and loyal workforce is an integral part to the ongoing success of this business."

Under the agreement, which goes into immediate effect, pay will be frozen until 2010 and there will be a 4 day work week at the plants and the cancellation of bonuses for about 2,400 salaried employees.

Mr David Smith CEO of Jaguar Land Rover said that he was pleased that the company and the unions had been able to work together on such sensitive issues. Mr Smith said that "It also confirms our determination as a team to steer Jaguar Land Rover through these extraordinary and challenging times, so that our business is ready to take advantage when the downturn finally ends."

The company offered the deal in February and promised no compulsory job losses for 2 years. Jaguar Land Rover, which was bought by TATA Motors Ltd in June 2007 from Ford Motor Co for USD 2.3 billion, has already laid off 450 people this year.

(Sourced from Press Trust of India)

Oceanic Shipyard project faces land delay

- 07 Mar 2009

BS reported that the INR 2,200 crore shipyard project proposed in Orissa by Oceanic Shipyard Ltd a JV between the Apeejay Surrendra Group and Bharti Shipyard Limited has been pushed into uncertainty due to delay in handing over the requisite land for the project.

The delay is attributed to objections raised by Dhamra Port Company, which feels its future expansion will be threatened if the land to the north of the port is handed over to OSL. DPCL is building INR 2,400 crore port in the area and has recently started construction work.

In order to resolve the issues related to use of land and port facilities, OSL and DPCL officials have met several times over the last few months but to no avail. It is now left to the government to take a final call on the issues to decide the fate of the proposed shipyard.

Industrial Promotion & Investment Corporation of Orissa Ltd had assessed the land requirement of the shipyard project at 1,400 acres. While 1,150 acres were to be allotted for developing the shipyard to the north of Dhamra, the remaining 250 acres were to be allotted for setting up ancillaries and support services at Chardia.

Sources said the government was in favor of allotting 425 acres to DPCL and the remaining 519 acres to OSL, out of the total available 944 acres to the north of Dhamara. However, the arrangement failed to materialize as DPCL did not agree to this proposal.

(Sourced from Business Standard)

HR prices crash by USD 50 at Black Sea this week

- 07 Mar 2009

It is reported that the price of HRC at Black Sea came under tremendous pressure this week and saw a major decline.

HRC
2mm to 8mm
ST1-ST3 kp/sp/ps

OriginChange%
Ukrainian-30-8%
Russian-50-13%
Change is on March 6th as compared with February 27th 2009
Change is in USD per tonne
Delivery FOB ST Black sea

Russian origin HR price levels, which have always been higher that that of Ukrainian origin, are now reported to be at par with Ukrainian levels.

To know exact prevailing FOB prices at Black Sea, China, India, Turkey and Europe, as they change, subscribe to services of www.steelprices-india.com by registering or sending a mail to admin@steelprices-india.com with contact details. Please note that this is a paid service.

(Sourced from www.steelprices-india.com)

Indian iron ore spot prices continue southward march

- 07 Mar 2009

The FOB East Coast prices of Indian iron ore have gone down further during last few days.

The details are as under

GradeChange%
Fe 63.5/63%-2-3%
Fe 63.5/62.5%-2-3%
Fe 63/62 %-2-3%
Fe 62 / 61%-3-5%
Fe 61 / 60 %-3-6%
Fe 60/59 %-2-4%
Fe 59 / 58 %-2-5%
Fe 58 / 57%-2-5%
Change is during March 6th and March 3rd 2009
Change is in USD per tonne

This reduction has brought down the spot prices of Indian iron ore down by 17% to 22% on March 6th 2009 for various grades as compare to prices prevailing on February 10th 2009/
GradeChange%
Fe 63.5/63%-13-18%
Fe 63.5/62.5%-12-17%
Fe 62 / 61%-14-21%
Fe 61 / 60 %-10-17%
Fe 59 / 58 %-12-22%
Fe 58 / 57%-11-22%
Change is during March 6th and February 10th 2009
Change is in USD per tonne

Considering the present situation, where hardly any transactions are taking place despite lowering of prices by Indian miners, we shall be releasing a new short term forecast soon.

To know exact levels, likely scenario, domestic iron ore spot prices at Bellary and Burbil and FOB East Coast spot prices subscribe to “Iron Ore Services” of www.steelprices-india.com by registering or sending a mail to admin@steelprices-india.com along with your full contact details. Please note that this is a paid service.

(Sourced from www.steelprices-india.com)

CIS FOB Black Sea billet prices crash by 11% this week

- 07 Mar 2009

It is reported that the price of square billets at Black Sea are under tremendous pressure as buyers are pushing down there bids day by day.

Billets
3-5 sp/ps
125-150 mm

Change%
-35-11%
Change is on March 6th as compared with February 27th 2009
Change is in USD per tonne
Delivery FOB ST Black sea

In other words, the levels are inching towards price forecast of USD 270 per tonne FOB or USD 300 per tonne CFR levels made on February 28th 2009 vide article “FOB Black Sea billet prices under severe pressure from buyers”

To know exact prevailing FOB prices at Black Sea, China, India, Turkey and Europe, as they change, subscribe to services of www.steelprices-india.com by registering or sending a mail to admin@steelprices-india.com with contact details. Please note that this is a paid service.

(Sourced from www.steelprices-india.com)

Production pruning - Wuhan Steel cuts production by 20%

- 07 Mar 2009

Bloomberg reported that China’s third largest steelmaker Wuhan Iron and Steel Group has cut production by 15% to 20% t as the economic slowdown crimped demand.

Mr Deng Qilin GM of Wuhan said that Wuhan, Baosteel Group Corp. and Anshan Iron and Steel Group have idled four furnaces.

Mr Deng said that “The bigger steelmakers had small profits in January, while the smaller ones were struggling. This month, the situation is getting worse.”

Shougang Corp said earlier that Chinese steelmakers may have to cut output by 20% because of weakening demand.

(Sourced from Bloomberg)

Production pruning -Usiminas shuts BF for 90 days

- 07 Mar 2009

Brazilian steelmaker Usinas Siderurgicas de Minas Gerais SA announced that it has temporarily suspended operations at Furnace 1 at its Cubatao, Sao Paulo State steel mill.

According to a Usiminas press release, the shutdown will begin on March 9 and will last about 90 days and the furnace shutdown will cut pig iron output by 270,000 tonnes or 6% of the steel mill's capacity.

The cuts mean Usiminas is now operating 3 of its 5 furnaces and its output is down to 50% of installed capacity of around 4 million tonnes a year.

Usiminas said that “The move is designed to match company production to the current rhythm of demand.”

Mr Marco Antonio Castello president of Usiminas told local newspaper, O Valor that “We haven't seen sufficient orders from customers, nor consistent signals of demand for the second quarter. Until February we were still betting on a resuscitation of the market, mainly from the Obama effect, but this didn't happen.”

Downsizing deals - Layoffs announced at ArcelorMittal Steel

- 07 Mar 2009

WKYC-TV reported that ArcelorMittal Cleveland announced that 950 Cleveland employees are going to be laid off within the next 60 days.

As per report, employees will be notified about the layoffs by Monday and the layoffs will begin 60 days from that notification.

The plant, which employed 1,440 members of United Steelworkers of America Local 979 as recently as last summer, will have about 250 employees providing basic fire watch and maintaining the water treatment, boiler and environmental systems,. The rest of the hourly workers are likely to be out of work until the market for steel picks up and ArcelorMittal restarts at least one of its two idled furnaces.

Ms Mary Beth Holdford spokesperson of ArcelorMittal told Channel 3 that "This is a temporary idling until market conditions improve. But as of right now, we have no timeline."

ArcelorMittal in a written statement announcing the layoffs said that "This was a difficult decision to make, but the company is being forced to respond to the extraordinary economic environment we are facing. We will be carefully monitoring the situation, and we look forward to many of our employees returning to work as soon as it is warranted by market conditions."

Mr Mark Granakis Local 979 President said that “He had expected the company to cut more workers this month or next but I never thought there was going to be this severe a reduction. I realize the economy's hurting. I do not think they're laying people off because they want to, but it is hard. "

ArcelorMittal shut its two Cleveland blast furnaces in October, keeping only its rolled-steel galvanizing and finishing lines running, though at far less than capacity. By December, the Cleveland plant had laid off 450 union workers and said in late February that it would reassign a third of its 300 salaried workers to other company installations. The company at the time declined to answer questions about what would happen to the remaining 200 salaried employees.

(Sourced from Cleveland)

Indian thermal coal importers suffer losses as prices crash

- 07 Mar 2009

ET reported that the global slowdown has taken a toll on those who import coal and has, in the process, shifted the balance of power in favor of the domestic buyers.

As per report, coal importers have incurred losses since a lot of potential buyers went back on the price that was originally committed and the supply contracts were renegotiated at a lesser price.

A coal industry official said that the ongoing downturn in the coal market gave buyers an opportunity to revise the prices of the contracts and the importers made losses on the coal stock that was bought before the crash in prices.

Mr Bijay Mandani CMD of Maheswari Brothers said that “There is a high level of volatility in the international price of coal, which is to the extent of USD 10 per tonne to USD 15 per tonne on any given day. This is what is hitting the importers badly. Depending on where coal has been imported from, importers will be facing a huge loss on their ground stock on account of the price fall.”

Another importer said that “The pressure is clearly being felt and according to one importer, its contract with a large thermal power company was renegotiated late last year. We were forced to sell non coking coal at a discount of 30% to 35% per tonne.”

India’s demand for coal has been increasing by around 9% each year with a large part of it being met by imports from Indonesia, South Africa, China and Australia. The import of non coking coal has gone up from 29 million tonne in 2007-08 to 38 million tonne in 2008-09.

(Sourced from Economic Times)

Recession reports - US February job losses record high in 6o years

- 07 Mar 2009

Bloomberg reported that US economy probably lost more jobs in February than at any time since 1949, a plunge that may force further reductions in spending and send more Americans into bankruptcy.

According to the median estimates in a Bloomberg News survey ahead of the Labor Department figures, employers cut payrolls by 650,000 and the unemployment rate probably surged to a 25 year high of 7.9%.

Tumbling demand globally is prompting companies from General Motors Corporation to Sears Holdings Corporation to step up firings, perpetuating a vicious circle of job losses and spending cuts.

Mr Ethan Harris co head of US economic research at Barclays Capital Inc said that "We are in almost a panic stage right now. Companies are readjusting their labor force to match a deeply depressed economy."

The report may also show manufacturers cut 200,000 jobs. January’s 207,000 factory payroll reduction was the biggest since 1982. The slump in employment was foreshadowed by first-time jobless claims, which surged last month to the highest level in 26 years.

Automakers, at the forefront of the manufacturing slump, have continued to slash jobs to trim costs and stay in business. General Motors last month said it would cut 47,000 more positions globally as it sought USD 16.6 billion in new US loans.

Banks, retailers and other service companies that make up almost 90 percent of the economy have also been battered. Sears last week said it would close 24 stores, on top of eight closings announced earlier, after its fourth quarter profit fell 55% due to weak holiday sales.

(Sourced from Bloomberg)

Russian steelmakers raise output 15% to 17% in February

- 07 Mar 2009

Interfax citing Mr Viktor Khristenko Industry and Trade Minister as saying that Russian steel plants utilized 15% to 17% more capacity in February, but this is not a stable trend.

Mr Khristenko said on Russkaya Sluzhba Novostei radio that "According to tentative data, February utilization of capacity in ferrous metallurgy increased by an average of 15% to 17%.”

He said that however, this trend is not stable, as it is primarily due to speculation by traders who are buying and ordering metal in the hopes that demand will increase in the construction industry in June.

He added that “I talked to several major steel plants today. While for March they are attaining half their capacity, for April orders are close to zero."

Mr Khristenko said that in order to utilize their capacity steelmakers are being forced to dump their products on foreign markets. Russian steel exports to China jumped 500% in January compared to the previous month. He said that "Run of the mill rolled products are being exports. This is forced dumping on foreign markets in order to utilize capacity.”

He added that “The automotive and construction sectors were the most at risk in Russian industry, adding that the uncertainty and steep drop in demand are the main problem. Domestic demand has shrunk far more than demand on foreign markets for Russian products."

(Sourced from Interfax)


Russian coal exports plummet in January

- 07 Mar 2009

Interfax quoted the Federal Customs Service said Russian coal exports plummeted 25.5%YoY in January to 3.93 million tonnes.

Coal exports in value rose 8.4% to USD 351.2 million.

Exports to non-CIS countries fell 17.2% to 36.3 million tonnes, while exports to the CIS were down almost two-thirds to 302,700 tonnes. In value terms, exports to the non-CIS rose 21.3% to USD 313.1 million, and exports to the CIS fell more than 41% to USD 38.1 million.

Russian coal imports grew 18.1% to 2.083 million tonnes. Russia imported nearly all of this coal - 2.053 million tonnes from the CIS.

Overall imports in value fell 14.2% to USD 50.2 million.

Coal imports from the CIS fell 21.2% in tonnage and but rose 12.4% in value, to USD 11.3 million. Coal imports from the non-CIS plummeted 44.4% to 29,900 tonnes and more than a quarter to USD 38.9 million.

(Sourced from Interfax)

German 2009 steel output may fall below 40 million tonnes

- 07 Mar 2009

German Steel Federation said that German steel output is set to fall below 40 million tonnes in 2009 for the first time since 1993 when an economic downswing hammered Europe's biggest economy.

Mr Hans Juergen Kerkhoff president of the Federation said that the second half of 2009 could see a slight recovery in the market overall. New orders plunged 47% in the final quarter of 2008, the biggest drop in the post war era amidst a brutal downturn in the Germany. Both domestic and foreign demand have withered, with overall new orders in October to December 2008 quarter declining to 5.7 million tonnes from 10.6 million in the same period of 2007.

Crude steel production in Germany fell by 36% in January from a year ago, extending a decline to full year output of 45.8 million tonnes in 2008 from 48.5 million in 2007.

Mr Kerkhoff said that February output would also have the same trend seen in January. He did not give figures.

It may be noted that the steel industry recession stems from a slump in the automotive and engineering industries, continuing liquidity bottlenecks and rising inventories at traders and processors. Steel companies including ThyssenKrupp and market leader ArcelorMittal have already slashed their production due to the collapse in demand.

(Sourced from www.reuters.com)

Felix studying coal acquisitions in India and Indonesia

- 07 Mar 2009

It is reported that Felix Resources Ltd is studying acquisitions of energy coal assets in India and Indonesia after last month shelving talks to sell itself to another company.

Mr Brian Flannery MD of Brisbane based Felix in an interview said that “Indonesia and India are the two areas we are having a look at.”

He added that the company is talking to large groups in India that are looking to build new power stations.

Mr Flannery said that demand for imported coal in India will rise over the next five years as new power stations are built in coastal areas.

He said that the company will also study merger and acquisition opportunities in Australia in the next six months given recent share price declines.

(Sourced from Bloomberg.net)

Shougang in talks to buy Changzhi steel

- 07 Mar 2009

According to Mr Zhu Jimin chairman of Shougang Group, China's Shougang Iron & Steel is in talks to buy Shanxi based Changzhi Iron & Steel, which has an annual capacity of 4 million tonnes.

Mr Zhu also said China's steel demand had not yet recovered and repeated the industry's call for lower iron ore prices from top suppliers. He said iron ore inventories at steel mills would return to a normal level in April, but blamed high term prices on the delay in using up inventories.

He added that the steel mills who purchased spot iron ore last year saw lower operating costs compared with mills who purchased long term iron ore, so they kept relatively lower iron ore stockpiles.”

Mr Zhu said "Big steel mills that purchased long-term iron ore had higher operating costs so we can purchase and produce less and it takes a longer time to use up our inventories."

(Sourced from Reuters)

Salzgitter AG 2008 net sales up by 22.6% YoY

- 07 Mar 2009

Salzgitter AG has announced its financial results for 12 months to December 31st 2008. It achieved a pre tax profit of EUR 1 billion in the financial year 2008 despite the dramatic developments in global economic conditions which unfolded at the end of the year. Accordingly, the profit forecast made before the advent of the turbulences in the market was fulfilled in every respect, even taking the announced accounting measures into account.

Consolidated external sales rose by 23% to a new record level of EUR 12,499.2 million. Higher steel selling prices, the steady, gratifying development of the Tubes Division business, especially in large diameter tubes, and booming trading business in the first nine months of the year were the main contributors of this pleasing growth.

Pre tax profit, which posted EUR 1,003.4 million, is another excellent result for the Salzgitter Group. The all time record of the financial year 2007 of EUR 1,313.9 million was not repeated, in line with expectations. The result includes accounting measures pertaining to the valuation of inventories in the Steel & Trading divisions of around EUR 200 million resulting from the drastic deterioration in market conditions in the fourth quarter of 2008. Consolidated after tax profit of EUR 676.9 million settled below the previous year's figure of EUR 905.1 million.

Item20082007Change
Pre tax profit1,0031,314-23.7%
After tax profit677905-25.2%
Sales12,49910,19222.6%
In EUR millions unless otherwise stated

Iron ore price negotiations - Hebei Steel sees deal in April

- 07 Mar 2009

Reuters reported that Iron ore price negotiations between Chinese steel mills and big global miners are likely to end in April as the miners drag their feet, hoping for demand to recover.

Mr Liu Rujun deputy board chairman of Hebei Iron and Steel Group Co Ltd told Reuters on the sidelines of China's annual session of parliament that "The miners are waiting for a positive influence on steel demand from China's CNY 4 trillion stimulus plan. But I think domestic demand will not increase hugely due to the stimulus plan, noting that demand had started to improve in China, but a full recovery was expected to take a long time.”

(Sourced from Reuters)

Japanese January steel export down by 34.4% YoY

- 07 Mar 2009

It is reported that Japan has exported 2.003 million tonnes of steel in January 2009, down by 34.4% YoY as compared with last year the same time.

The export includes 1.327 million tonnes of general steel. It show 56.6% YoY down on HR coils and 39% YoY down on GI, 51.7% YoY down on CR coils and 20% YoY down on welded tubes.

Depending on statistics by country, Japanese steel export have reduce by 25.6% YoY to Korea, 35% YoY to China, 52.7% YoY to Thailand, 45.1% YoY to Taiwan. But the export to USA increased by 19.5% YoY.

(Sourced from YIEH.corp)

JSL and Bombardier disagree on long term pricing

- 07 Mar 2009

PTI reported that JSL Limited has refused to enter into a long term contract with global rail wagon maker Bombardier for supplying high grade alloy, citing volatility in nickel prices.

Mr Arvind Parakh director (strategy & business development) of JSL said that "We cannot do a fixed price contract with Bombardier for supplying high grade 300 series stainless steel due to volatility in nickel prices.''

Mr Rajeev Jyoti MD of Bombardier Transportation India said that "We have contracts with global stainless steel companies. Jindal Stainless has to keep that in mind.''

(Sourced from www.ptinews.com)

Chinese rebar and wire rod prices remain under pressure

- 07 Mar 2009

It is reported that Chinese rebar and wire rod prices have kept edging down by small amount this week. The sluggish market is expected to sustain for another two weeks at least.

In Shanghai, HRB335 20mm rebar goes at 3170 per tonne; HRB400 grade material is posted at CNY 3220 to CNY 3250 down by CNY 80 per tonne and CNY 110 per tonne respectively from last Friday

Prices for commercial wire rod and hi-speed material go down by CNY 70 per tonne and CNY 40 per tonne to CNY 3170 per tonne and CNY 3210 per tonne to CNY 3220 per tonne respectively.

As forecast, prices are on the decrease. Taking Shanghai price for HRB335 20mm rebar as benchmark, it is going to approach CNY 3100 per tonne to CNY 3000 per tonne as long as it remains below CNY 3300 per tonne.

The major reasons under the dive of prices are as under:

1. Construction activities suspend or slow down in a large part of China due to continuous rainy days in the past three weeks.

2. Increasing stock level as a result of less consumption. More and more stock materials have cast an adverse impact on market prices.

3. Key projects are still short of capital.

4. Real estate industry remains weak despite increase in house sales in Q1. Most developers are trying to work off built apartments first and would not start new constructions.

Prevailing export offer for alloyed rebar goes at USD 520 per tonne to USD 540 per tonne FOB. Quotation for commercial grade is tagged at USD 5800 per tonne to USD 600 per tonne FOB. Boron added wire rod goes at USD 530 per tonne to USD 540 per tonne FOB and that for material without boron are about USD 600 per tonne FOB.

Most steel makers say there are almost no construction steel exports except some for projects in overseas countries. Thus it really takes time for more export volume taken into account severe economy recession and further decrease in house prices in most part of the world.

(Sourced from.Mysteel.net)
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SAIL coking coal imports likely to touch 10.5 million tonne

- 07 Mar 2009

BL reported that the Steel Authority of India Limited’s coking coal import in 2008-09 will exceed that in 2007-08. The current fiscal, it is estimated will end up with a throughput of about 10.5 million tonne compared with 9.7 million tonne in 2007-08.

However, an estimated of 9.97 million tonne of coking coal has already been imported so far April to February in the current fiscal and the port wise break ups are Visakhapatnam 4.27 million tonne, Haldia 4.32 million tonne and Paradip 1.38 million tonne.

The import program, till the middle of this month, suggests there will be an additional import of 4.37 million tonnes but the port wise distribution of the additional import is yet to be finalized. One thing, however, is certain. It will be a 2 port discharge. Visakahapatnam to Haldia, Paradip to Haldia and Visakhapatnam to Paradip, depending on the situation.

Inquiries reveal that till September that is H1 of 2008-09, the import was up by 36% at 6.10 million tonne. However, till January, the growth dropped to 16.8% at 9.47 million tonne. This was because the import started declining from October onwards. In February, the import was around 5 million tonne.

The port wise breakups of SAIL’s coking coal import of 9.7 million tonne in 2007-08 were Visakhapatnam 4.57 million tonne, Haldia 4.01 million tonne and Paradip 1.13 million tonne.

(Sourced from Business Line)

List of Kremikovtzi suitors short - Mr Dimitrov

- 07 Mar 2009

Mr Petar Dimitrov economy and energy minister of Bulgaria said that it was not in a situation where it could afford the luxury to pick buyers for the country's biggest steel mill Kremikovtzi, now under court receivership.

He said that investors were wary of making big decisions while commodities prices remained low, which was why none had pursued their interest in the debt ridden steelworks.

He said that "Brazilian mining giant CSN has been mulling over a possible deal for more than a month, but they still can not come up with a scheme that will give them profit should they buy Kremikovtzi."

When Ukrainian steelmaker Smart Holding said on February 25th 2009 that it was pulling out of the negotiations in buying Kremikovtzi, Mr Dimitrov gave the same explanation.

As for the interest showed by Finland registered Finprominvest, Mr Dimitrov said that Bulgaria could not afford to pick buyers. The company sent a letter of interest to the ministry on February 25th 2009, but it was short on any specific details as to what it was ready to offer.

According to various estimates, more than 6000 people are employed by Kremikovtzi. The mill is a key customer for Bulgarian ports and the state railways company, providing the incomes of at least another 50,000 households, labor unions claim.

(Sourced from www.sofiaecho.com)

Baosteel may drop out of JV with Handan Steel - Report

- 07 Mar 2009

21 Century Business Herald reported that Baosteel might withdraw from Handan Baosteel Ltd-the joint venture it registered along with Handan Steel Group in September 2007 in order to construct new steel base of the latter and it's still in the air who will take its place.

According to a securities analyst Mr Liu, along with consolidation of Hebei Steel Group Baosteel's retreat, if it's true, would lie more in its strategic adjustment in Hebei, the market players believed. Baosteel has basically lost this market it once coveted.

Also, the joint venture makes listed units under the two groups-Baosteel Group and Handan Steel Group-competitors as Handan Baosteel Ltd and Baoshan Steel are both engaged in manufacturing high-end steel products.

Baosteel yet did not comment while being reached for a response.

The National Development and Reform Commission approved Handan Steel's restructuring and upgrading project for investing CNY 19.368 billion in building a 4.6 million tonnes prime steel base. Handan Baosteel Ltd was set up later with each pouring CNY 6 billion to construct the new steel area.

The observers talked that if Baosteel drops out, Hebei Steel Group may take over with own funds, or the actual holder Hebei state-owned asset supervision and administration association will step in.

(Source: 21 Century Business Herald)

Egyptian rebars makers facing price turmoil

- 07 Mar 2009

Global steel Web reported that Turkish rebar manufactures have shifted their targets to Egyptian markets due to the fact that demand in their traditional Middle East region is deteriorating. Currently, Turkish rebars are quoted at USD 450 per tonnes to USD 460 per tonnes.

It is likely that these prices shall decline even more. Ezz Steel has its Rebar pricing settled at USD 606 per tonnes which is considerably greater than that of Turkish origin. Ezz shall have to reduce its prices in order to make them more competitive or loose market share.

(Sourced from Global steel)

PT Bayan sees 2009 coal output up by 56%

- 07 Mar 2009

Indonesian coal miner, PT Bayan Resources Tbk expects its coal production to increase by 56% this year on an expansion in its coal mines.

Bayan, Indonesia's eighth largest coal producer plans to produce 9.5 million tonnes of coal this year, up from an estimated 6.1 million tonnes in 2008. It said that the increased production would come from its Firman Ketaun Perkasa mine in East Kalimantan and continued expansion in other mines including PT Wahana Baratama and PT Perkasa Inakerta.

The firm expects to sell 10 million tonnes of coal this year, up from 6.7 million tonnes in 2008. It said that demand remained strong and that all coal sales volumes were fully committed.

It said that "Demand remains strong especially from Europe, Japan, Taiwan and Korea. Power projects in the Asian region continue to expand and an increasing number will come on line in 2009-2011.”

Despite higher production, the firm forecast average selling prices between USD 60 to USD 65 a tonne in 2009, down from USD 74.7 a tonne in 2008 in line with weakened global coal prices.

(Sourced from Reuters)

Wuhan Steel reduces April prices

- 07 Mar 2009

According to an announcement published by the steelmaker Central China-based, Wuhan Steel has released its latest EXW prices for some steel products in April. Prices for wire rod, HR, CR, galvanized and silicon steel are cut by different ranges from March level.

Wire Rod
1. Welded, bearing, tyre cord and alloy cold forging steel unchanged
2. 77MnA and 82B down by CNY 150 per tonne
3. Alloy structural steel down by CNY 200 per tonne
4. Others down by CNY 300 per tonne

HR
1. Vessel steel Q245RQ345R down CNY 300 per tonne for
2. High strength galvanized structural steel GR50GR65Q460DC down CNY 200 per tonne
3. High strength welded structural steel down by CNY 100 per tonne
4. Others down by CNY 200 per tonne
CR
1. Q195-215A, DC01, SPCC, WJD1, WJD2, WLS350-JD, 08Al, SPCD, DC03, WJD3, SPCD-HS, JZZ and DT4-E down by CNY 300 per tonne
2. Others down by CNY 100 per tonne

Galvanized
1. DX51D, DX52D, DX53D and structural products down by CNY 300 per tonne
2. High strength IF steel down by CNY 260 per tonne

Silicon Steel
1. Grain oriented silicon steel down by CNY 1000 per tonne
2. Others unchanged.

Prices listed above are effective as of March 6th 2009.

(Sourced from.Mysteel.net)
Visit www.Mysteel.net for real time access to China steel news!

Chinese plate sold at EUR 385 FOT Ravenna in Italy

- 07 Mar 2009

We had reported on March 5th 2009 that a vessel has arrived at Ravenna with 10,000 tonnes of plates from Shougang and various customers were bidding EUR 350 per tonne FOT Ravenna Port.

Our market sources have further informed that these plates have been finally sold to some Italian clients including Gabrielli and Leonessa at EUR 385 per tonne FOT Ravenna.

To keep tab on steel prices in Europe on daily basis, subscribe to services of www.steelprices-europe.com by registering or sending a mail to admin@steelprices-europe.com. Please note that this is a paid service.

(Sourced from www.steelprices-europe.com)
Rautaruukki delivered steel structures for Gorenje

Rautaruukki announced that it has delivered the steel structures for Gorenje's new warehouse for household appliances in Velenje Slovenia. Delivery took place using Rautaruukki's single storey solution that simplifies and makes the design and construction of commercial and industrial buildings more efficient. The contract was worth around EUR 1 million.

Ruukki's delivery for the 8,200 square meter warehouse included steel structure design, drawings, production and installation. The new extensive warehouse will form the centre of Gorenje's warehouse services that were previously outsourced.

Mr Primoz Sovic director of investments at Gorenje said that "We chose Ruukki as our supplier because it met three important project criteria. Firstly, Ruukki was able to meet our tight deadline to completely install the main structure within 3 months of signing the contract. Secondly, Ruukki offered steel structures at a competitive price, which is always a key factor in the decision making process. And thirdly, there was no doubt about the quality of Ruukki's products, a factor that was also confirmed during the construction process."


Leighton HWE Unit won AUD 400 million Pilbara contract

- 07 Mar 2009

Australia's largest construction company Leighton Holdings Ltd said that its HWE Mining unit won a five year contract extension worth about AUD 400 million at BHP Billiton Ltd's Orebody 23/25 mine, near Newman in Western Australia state.

Leighton in a statement said that HWE Mining will provide complete mining services at the Pilbara region mine until June 2013, the Sydney-based company, which is also the world's largest contract miner.

It said that the unit has provided services at the mine since 1998, including specialist fixed plant maintenance.

(Sourced from Dow Jones Newswires)

Steel prices are close to output costs - Baosteel

- 07 Mar 2009

Bloomberg reported that Baosteel Group Corp, China’s largest steelmaker prices are close to its production costs, indicating that the country hasn’t had a “real” demand recovery.

Mr Wang Jing the company’s GM for international trading said in an interview in Beijing that Baosteel is still cautious about the demand outlook.

He said that “Benchmark steel prices in China jumped 46% between November and February on optimism that the government’s CNY 4 trillion stimulus package would revive metals demand. The price recovery was because of traders replenishing inventories.”

Mr Wang said “Demand has not had a substantial recovery, but output rose faster because of higher prices.”

(Sourced from Bloomberg)

US slabs buyers waiting for drop in prices to USD 300 CFR levels

- 07 Mar 2009

According to preliminary data of USA's statistics, in January the volume of purchases of slabs and billets materials was 1,869,000 tonnes whereas in the same month year before it was 4,172,000 tonnes. Moreover, in January the volume of the Russian export of semi manufactured materials in the USA was 1,575,000 tonnes, while for the whole last year was 6,631,000 tonnes. Thus, 84.2% of deliveries of semis in January had the Russian origin.

The American senate has confirmed in the end of February the program of stimulation of economy in cost USD 787 billion from which almost USD 130 billion it will be directed on financing of various projects. By estimations of Deutsche Bank experts it will lead to increase of steel demand approximately on 10 million tonnes in 2009-2010, but the effect will be seen not earlier than in the third or fourth quarter. First of all it will concern the market of long products. Thus, the increase of slabs demand in USA within the next two-three months, most likely, will not occur.

The prices on slabs on the American market practically have not been changing since January at USD 330 to USD 350 CFR for Russian and Brazilian production. However consumers declare that in second half of March and in April will happen fall in prices to nearby USD 300 CFR.

Besides, on the USA's home market prices on hot rolled steel is decreasing. Many manufacturers have lowered the March prices to the level less than USD 550 per tonne ex work; therefore their desire to save the money on semis looks quite logically.

(Sourced from rusmet.com)

Indonesia may miss 2009 coal output target - Official

- 07 Mar 2009

According to Indonesia’s energy ministry official, Indonesia may fail to achieve its coal production target this year as the global economic crisis dents demand.

Indonesia's energy and mines ministry said last month that coal production was expected to be flat at 230 million tonnes this year against 229.18 million tonnes a year ago.

Mr Bambang Gatot Ariyono director of minerals and coal enterprises at the ministry said that "It's difficult to find buyers now. So far, there are no producers that have submitted a revision of their production plan. But there is possibility of declines in production.”

But the official did not estimate the potential extent of the decline, saying the ministry would review coal production after the first quarter.

Coal is the cheapest source of thermal energy used in the industrial sector, with the cement and steel industry among the largest buyers. But demand has stuttered as the global economic downturn has forced a string of factories across Europe and China to halt production as exports slump.

Prices of power-station coal from Australia have fallen below AUD 63, the lowest in nearly 21 months, from a record peak of AUD 201 a tonne in July last year.

The Indonesian coal industry, however, appears to be more optimistic on the outlook for production. Mr Jeffrey Mulyono chairman of Indonesia Coal Mining Association said that Indonesian coal output was expected to climb to between 250 to 260 million tonnes this year, from the industry estimate's of 238 million tonnes in 2008 on strong demand from China and India.

(Sourced from Thomson Reuters)

Emirates Steel receives first sea shipment of iron oxide pellets

- 07 Mar 2009

Emirates Steel Industries announced that they have reached another major milestone as they prepare to start up their new multi billion dirham plant. Emirates Steel will import close to 2.4 million tonnes of iron oxide pellets per year. It has long term contracts for its raw material supplies and for its shipping needs.

The unloading process is a novel and complex exercise. Approximately 40 kilometers off the shore of Abu Dhabi, 160,000 tonne of iron oxide pellets have arrived from Brazil in a large Capesize vessel. From this ship, the pellets are transferred into a smaller, specially constructed Transloader Panamax vessel, with a capacity of 60,000 tonnes. From the Transloader Panamax, the iron oxide pellets are transferred into three specially constructed 12,000 tonnes barges, supported by new dedicated tugs and progressively moved to ESI’s new import jetty at Mussafah.

The Capesize vessel, after discharging its cargo will set sail and leave the Transloader Panamax to continue feeding the barges, which can discharge cargo at a rate of 2000 tonnes per hour. The Mussafah Channel has been recently dredged to a depth of 5.5 meters to accommodate the barges. The channel’s length from the sea to the plant is about 16 kilometers. The Transloader Panamax ship is sea going and will also be used to collect raw material from neighboring countries.

The barges were custom built in China for ESI and owned and operated by E-Ships Oldendorff Logistics, a joint venture between Abu Dhabi based Emirates Ship Investment Company and Germany’s Oldendorff Carriers. The barges unload cargo using belt conveyors running at the bottom of their holds, which are designed in the form of long hoppers. With these barges, ESI will be able to achieve an import rate of 36,000 tonnes per day.

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