STEEL PRICES UNDER IMMENSE PRESSURE

Despite the mills’ best efforts, steel prices have been unable to gain much traction so far in 2019. Price increase announcements of $40/ton in January and February yielded partial and apparently temporary gains for steelmakers. The prices of all flat-rolled steel products are now well below where they were at the beginning of the year, which may be good news for fabricators and other steel users, but is not-so-good news for steel producers and distributors that have seen their margins and the value of their inventories erode.

SMU tracks steel prices each week and publishes its SMU Price Momentum Indicator, which signals whether steel prices are more likely to move up, down, or sideways in the coming 30 days. Currently, SMU’s market momentum is lower for hot-rolled and plate products and neutral for cold-rolled and galvanized.

Mill price increases cannot succeed without the cooperation of distributors. They are on the front lines in the spot market, and it’s their day-to-day decisions about whether to deal or hold the line that ultimately translate into price changes. SMU’s latest survey data suggests that support for higher prices is waning among service centers. About 90 percent of service center executives responding to SMU’s latest poll said they are having difficulty passing along higher prices to their customers.

In its twice-monthly survey, SMU asks manufacturers if they are seeing higher prices from service centers. In mid-March, around 40 percent of respondents said their service center suppliers were seeking higher prices. In the latest data, that figure had declined to 17 percent.

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Tata Steel-moving towards 10MTPA capacity

India’s largest Blast Furnace, ‘H’ Blast Furnace at Tata Steel, was blown in today, 31st May, 2008 formally by Mr R S Pandey, Steel Secretary, Government of India at a grand function at Tata Steel Works in Jamshedpur. He was accompanied by Mr B Muthuraman, Managing Director Tata Steel, Mr H M Nerurkar, Chief Operating Officer, Tata Steel, Mr. R.P. Singh, Vice President (Engineering and Projects) , Mr Basevi, Managing Director, Paul Wurth (PW) Italia and Mr K G Hariharan, Senior Executive Vice President, L&T.

Tata Steel, the first and largest Private Sector Steel Company in India has embarked on growth plan to increase its Jamshedpur Works Capacity to 7 million tonnes per annum in Phase I and to 10 MT in Phase II. ‘H’ Blast Furnace marks the completion of the most important milestone in that journey. It has been designed, supplied, erected and commissioned by a consortium consisting of PW Italia, L&T, PW India, and PW Luxembourg.

While addressing the august gathering at the Steellenium Hall, Mr. B Muthuraman, Managing Director, Tata Steel said, “It is a historical day not only for Tata Steel but also for the nation. I would like to thank Mr. R S Pandey, who came to Jamshedpur to be a part of this momentous day. The blow in of H Blast Furnace is a major milestone and another giant step in making India prosperous. It is India’s largest blast furnace and it is an effort by Tata Steel to add tremendously to the nation building process. Steel is the back bone of the country and we want to ensure that India does not miss the bus. I would like to thank the entire team for completing the project in record time”

The chief guest for the occasion, Mr. R S Pandey, Secretary for Steel, Government of India was exhilarated to be a part of the commissioning of H Blast Furnace. “It is the largest blast furnace that has been completed in 25 months. It will work efficiently and pave the path for the construction of more blast furnaces. I would like to extend my congratulations to the entire team for achieving this remarkable feat. I get the reassurance that Tata Steel will continue to play a pioneering role in the process of steel making”

The foundation stone for this 2.5 MTPA Blast Furnace was laid in June, 2006. The project broadly involved a total of 80,000 m3 of civil work, 28,000 tons of structural work, 20,000 tons of equipment erection, 22,000 tons of refractory work and 1.5 km of rail track and 1500 km of electrical cabling involved. All the shells and major pipe line were fabricated in-house by Growth Shop of Tata Steel and most of the equipments have been procured from reputed OEMs Overseas. The whole plant has been designed within an area of 63 acre due to space constraints and this is an engineering marvel. Also the project has been completed in 25 months from the groundbreaking which is the shortest possible time ever taken for construction of such a large furnace anywhere in the world.

‘H’ Blast Furnace will produce over 7200 tonnes of hot metal per day with a coke rate of 380 kg/thm and coal injection rate of 160 kg/thm. The furnace is equipped with all modern features. It has two flat cast houses with four tapholes. Cold blast will be made available by electrically driven blowers. Energy in terms of electrical power will be recovered from the BF gas through an expansion turbine. The waste heat from the stoves’ exhaust will be recovered to save on the fuel rate of the furnace. The Slag generated will be supplied for Cement Manufacturing in granulated form.

The commissioning of the largest Blast Furnace of 3800 m3 in Jamshedpur Steel Works is in the year when Tata Steel is celebrating its Centenary and this is a moment of great pride not only for Tata Steel, but also the nation as a whole. 10 MT expansion of Jamshedpur Steel works will be completed by December 2010.

The function was attended by Mr. S.K. Roy, Chief (H Blast Furnace) along with his team, Jaswant Singh, Committee Members of Tata Workers Union and other dignitaries.

About Tata Steel

Established in 1907 as Asia’s first integrated private sector steel company, Tata Steel in 2006 on a combined basis is the world’s sixth largest steel producer in terms of actual crude steel production with geographic footprints in India, South East Asia, UK and Europe. With the recent acquisition of Corus Limited, the combined enterprise has an aggregate crude steel production capacity of around 28.1 million tonnes with approximately 82,700 employees across the four continents.

Press Releases 2008

Source: http://www.tatasteel.com/newsroom/press442.asp

India now net importer of steel.

India has become a net importer of steel for the first time.

As per FE report, while steel import jumped by around 46% during 2007-08, exports declined by 6%.

Tata Steel’s Managing Director, Mr.B.Muthuraman, said steel consumption would outstrip demand unless urgent steps are taken. According to him, steel consumption will rise by 8-10 mtpa every year for the next several years. Against this, a capacity of only 8-10 mtpa is scheduled to be added over the next five years.

Mr.Muthuraman said he expected India to be importing around 35 million tonne of steel in the next five years time(2013), which would double in the following five years (2018)

Source: Metcom Times, June 02-08,2008 Vol-1, Issue 8

Hardened Tempered Steel Strip & CRCA Steel Strip

We supply the Hardened Tempered Steel Strips and CRCA Steel Strips with the closest dimensional tolerances. Equipped with automatic gauge control and hydraulic screw down device for achieving the closest dimensional tolerances.

Furthur, the annealing furnace is automatic and controled through PLC, with provision to use 100% Htdrogen as protective gas.

This gives the best spherodization and as a result uniform and excellent heat treatment of the end component.

We have sucessfully achieved the thickness of .05mm and are trying to make .025mm

CAN INDIA BE THE NEXT CHINA?

India is currently the world’s 8th largest steel producing country – with nearly 33 million tonnes of crude steel output in 2004 – and is increasingly being talked of as the next China. With a 12 percent increase in supply in the first half of this year, Indian steel production is growing strongly. Now the government is working on plans for a massive expansion. But, unless Indian demand also rises quickly, excess capacity will develop and put pressure on world markets.

The Indian government’s new National Steel Policy has not yet been approved, but steel minister Ram Vilas Paswan recently revealed its broad outlines to parliament. The chief goal is to increase steel production to 110 million tonnes by the 2019/20 financial year. This would mean tripling the current rate.

Because the government no longer regulates the steel sector, as it did until the early 1990s, it does not actively plan or implement steelworks expansions – other than at the state-owned companies. It now sees its role as facilitating growth by removing impediments and bottlenecks, particularly on the supply side of the industry.

So the new policy will include a series of measures designed to improve the availability of raw materials such as iron ore and coal. It will also encourage the creation of infrastructure such as the roads, railways and ports that will be required to support the steel industry’s growth.

Iron ore supply is a sensitive issue in India. The country has large reserves of high-grade material, but some of the mining, processing and transport facilities are inadequate. The government is expected to take steps to restrict exports in order to ensure a sufficient supply to the expanding domestic industry.

India is currently the world’s third largest iron ore exporting nation – behind Australia and Brazil – and local traders have been largely responsible for the development of a substantial spot market to cater for Chinese demand. This business may be curbed if the ore is needed to keep domestic mills supplied.

Coal is a different matter. India has large reserves of coal, but the quality is such that it needs to be blended with imports of high-grade coking coal to produce adequate blast furnace feed material. From time to time, a shortage of coking coal has constrained Indian steel production; hence the government is encouraging steel companies to secure supplies by investing in coal mines abroad. Tata Steel recently bought a stake in an Australian mine.

Many Indian steel makers already have plans to raise their production in line with the government’s target. State-owned enterprises, Sail and Vizag, propose adding a total of about 14 million tonnes of annual capacity by 2010/12. Tata Steel is raising output at its existing works from 5 million tonnes per year to 7.5 million tonnes per year and is also contemplating a new works of 5 million tonnes annual capacity. Many other private sector steel companies are implementing plans for multi-million-tonne expansions.

The government says it also wants to attract more foreign investment in steel. The biggest foreign-backed project so far is Posco’s intention to build a new plant in eastern India to take advantage of local iron ore. This unit will have an initial capacity of 3 million tonnes per year, rising eventually to 12 million tonnes annually. Among the other companies looking at investing in India is Mittal Steel, the world’s largest producer, which is domestically owned.

The government acknowledges India’s low per capita steel consumption – less than 30kg compared with the world average of about 150kg – and says it wants to stimulate growth in demand to improve the quality of life, especially in rural areas. So the new steel policy will include measures to strengthen distribution channels, to develop new steels suited to rural needs, and promote the use of the material generally.

India’s per capita steel consumption has increased by close to 50 percent in the last ten years. But a lot more will have to be done if it is to grow in line with production – as this means rising threefold in the next 15 years. India has China for a model, but it remains to be seen whether such large-scale advances in demand are achievable.

It is relatively straightforward to install new steelmaking capacity, but not easy to develop new markets to consume it. The clear danger is that India will build up a large additional steel producing potential without having a comensurate domestic market. The country could then become a significantly bigger exporter, with potentially disruptive consequences for steel markets in other regions of the world.

SOURCE: MEPS-INTERNATIONAL STEEL REVIEW

Price trend

No increase in steel price for next three months: SAIL

“I feel that this is just a temporary measure by the government. If the government is not going to roll back the export duty and the inputs costs remain as high, we might consider revising our decision after three months.”

From correspondents in Delhi, India, 05:31 PM IST Public sector major Steel Authority Of India Ltd has ruled out any increase in the prices of its products in the next three months, its chairman said Friday. via India eNews

http://www.topix.com/business/steel/2008/05/no-increase-in-steel-price-for-next-three-months-sail

MODERN PRODUCTION METHODS OF STEEL

Blast furnaces have been used for two millennia to produce pig iron, a crucial step in the steel production process, from iron ore by combining fuel, charcoal, and air. Modern methods use coke instead of charcoal, which has proven to be a great deal more efficient and is credited with contributing to the British Industrial Revolution. Once the iron is refined, converters are used to create steel from the iron. During the late 19th and early 20th century there were many widely used methods such as the Bessemer process and the Siemens-Martin process. However, basic oxygen steelmaking, in which pure oxygen is fed to the furnace to limit impurities, has generally replaced these older systems. Electric arc furnaces are a common method of reprocessing scrap metal to create new steel. They can also be used for converting pig iron to steel, but they use a great deal of electricity (about 440 kWh per metric ton), and are thus generally only economical when there is a plentiful supply of cheap electricity

                                                                                            SOURCE: Wikipedia

Export duty on steel to up domestic supply

The government’s bid to rein in inflation by imposing export duty on steel products may result in an oversupply in the domestic market.

Export duty of 15 per cent on the primary products will increase the supply of hot rolled products in the domestic market.

The export disincentive for cold rolled and galvanized products, in which HR products are used as an intermediary, could aggravate the situation.

The steel producers may either absorb the duty and sell below cost in the international market and increase prices in the domestic market, or shun exports and resort to production cuts.

Essar Steel Holding CEO J Mehra said the move had serious implications. “Unless the government takes initiatives to facilitate additional capacities, such measures are counter-productive. The move will hinder the steel companies from increasing capacity, which is the need of the hour. The industry has been pointing this to the government for quite some time but without effect.”

Industry sources said steel prices in the international market were higher by 100-200 euros on an average. Domestic HR coil prices are ruling at around Rs 35,000 per tonne, ex-plant, as the companies have decided to hold prices to moderate inflation.

                                      Source:http://www.rediff.com/money/2008/apr/30duty.htm (Edited)

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