Steel buyers continue to express concerns about hot rolled, cold rolled and plate steels. We have seen weakness in those products over the past week to two weeks. Galvanized and Galvalume have had more staying power, however buyers are not rushing to fill their inventories at today’s pricing. There is a wait-and-see attitude regarding future domestic steel prices.
Steel Dynamics has narrowed the choice for its new flat rolled steel mill to either Texas or Louisiana.
The planned $1.8 billion EAF mill will have an annual production capacity of 3 million tons and include a 450,000-ton galvanizing line and 250,000-ton paint line with Galvalume capability. The mill will differentiate itself by producing higher strength and tougher materials for the energy and auto sectors, the company said, with capability for 84-inch wide, 1-inch thick, 100 ksi hot rolled coil.
Steel mill utilization has declined by a percentage point in the past two weeks but remains near a healthy 82 percent, reported the American Iron and Steel Institute.
U.S. raw steel production for the week ending April 20 decreased by 0.6 percent from the previous week to 1,903,000 net tons, while the mill capability utilization rate inched down another half percentage point to 81.8 percent. The week's production represented a 6.9 percent increase from the same period last year.
Nucor announced net income of $501.8 million for the first quarter of 2019, a 22 percent decrease from income of $646.85 million in the fourth quarter. Net sales slipped 3.0 percent sequentially to $6.10 billion from the fourth quarter as the average sales price per ton dipped 4.0 percent.
“A somewhat challenging flat-rolled price environment” is how Steel Dynamics CEO Mark Millett described the first quarter of 2019.
SDI posted net income of $204 million in the first quarter and sales of $2.8 billion. Lower steel prices impacted sales resulting in 3.0 percent decline sequentially. Operating income for the company’s steel operations fell 22 percent from the fourth quarter to $312 million resulting in metal spread compression. Average sales price for the quarter decreased $38 per ton to $901, while average scrap cost consumed decreased just $5 per ton.