Steel prices on the verge of recovery

Domestic steel prices could increase by over Rs 1,000 per tonne in December, the first rise in six months, propped up by a strong revival in international prices and improvement in demand from infrastructure and housing sectors.

Signs of improvement in demand are being seen since November and this has given scope for price correction.Major steel players are looking at a moderate price recovery of Rs 1,000-1,500 per tonne in December.

An increase in price will improve the prospects of medium and large steel firms, including Tata Steel, Tata Steel BSL, JSW Steel, Essar Steel, Steel Authority of India and JSPL. Prices have been falling since May due to sluggish demand from infrastructure and construction sectors, and drop in orders from the slowdown-hit auto sector.From a high of Rs 44,000 per tonne, Hot Rolled Coils prices had plunged to, what industry executives termed as “unsustainable”, levels of Rs 34,000 per tonne.

JSW Steel profits fall drastically due to weak demand.

JSW Steel has registered 56.4% fall in its Q1 of FY19-20 (April-June) consolidated net profit at Rs 1,028 crore on the back of lower sales volumes due to subdued steel demand. The company had reported profit of Rs 2,366 crore in the same period last fiscal.

Even though the company maintained its annual guidance in production, which was up three percent, its sales were down by two percent. Revenue of the company declined 3.4 percent at Rs 19,812 crore against Rs 20,519 crore.

The demand slowdown has led to higher inventory levels. While overall, the inventory was at 1.2 million tons, up 3 lakh tons from a year ago, the finished goods inventory increased to 25 days, from the otherwise 20 days.

But the company is hopeful of demand picking up in the coming quarters on the back of higher Government spending on infrastructure.

Sales improve in the first quarter: Tata Steel

Tata Steel India said its sales in the first quarter of FY20 improved 16% to 3.87 million tonne over the previous year even as liquidity issues and rural stress that impacted domestic consumption, primarily with consolidation of Tata Steel BSL Ltd. for the full quarter.

Production went up 20 per cent to 4.37 million MT in the Q1 against 3.64 million MT with consolidation of Tata Steel BSL for the full quarter due to higher capacity utilisation at both Tata Steel standalone and Tata Steel BSL Ltd.

On the other hand, steel prices across many geographies declined in the first quarter. Input costs too have spiked with a sharp rise in iron ore prices due to supply disruptions and elevated coking coal costs. As a result, market spreads for steel producers globally have been affected.

Spehrodization of High Carbon Steel Strips.

Spheroidite forms when carbon steel is heated to approximately 700 °C for over 30 hours. Spheroidite can form at lower temperatures but the time needed drastically increases, as this is a diffusion-controlled process. The result is a structure of rods or spheres of cementite within primary structure (ferrite or pearlite, depending on which side of the eutectoid you are on). The purpose is to soften higher carbon steels and allow more formability. This is the softest and most ductile form of steel. The image to the right shows where spheroidizing usually occurs.

JSW Steel set to acquire Bhushan Power & Steel Ltd.

Tuesday went procedurally a step closer to acquiring an asset in bankruptcy-induced ownership change after the administrator overseeing the sale of Bhushan Power and Steel issued a letter of intent (LoI) in favour of India’s biggest maker of the alloy.

JSW Steel had made a Rs 19,650-crore offer, which included upfront payment of Rs 19,300 crore, with another Rs 350 crore earmarked for operational creditors, according to sources close to the development. After JSW Steel accepts the LoI, the resolution professional will submit JSW Steel’s plan to the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) for its approval.

In this resolution case, JSW Steel came from behind and bettered its initial bid to trump Tata Steel’s Rs 17,000-crore offer. The Sanjay Singal-owned company has Rs 47,000 crore of debt. While JSW had earlier acquired the one million tonne Monnet Ispat for Rs 2,875 crore jointly with Aion Investments, Bhushan Power and Steel is bigger with a 3.5 million tonne capacity. If JSW Steel is successful, this acquisition would also compensate for JSW Steel’s failed bid for Bhushan Steel Ltd. (now renamed Tata Steel BSL), which went to the Tatas for Rs 35,200 crore.

Spheroidizing of carbon steel.

Spheroidite forms when carbon steel is heated to approximately 700 °C for over 30 hours. Spheroidite can form at lower temperatures but the time needed drastically increases, as this is a diffusion-controlled process. The result is a structure of rods or spheres of cementite within primary structure (ferrite or pearlite, depending on which side of the eutectoid you are on). The purpose is to soften higher carbon steels and allow more formability. This is the softest and most ductile form of steel. The image to the right shows where spheroidizing usually occurs.

As rolled hard strips – Special Temper.

These are basically as rolled hard steel strip. To achieve a desired hardness, an annealed material of suitable thickness is taken and rolled down to the required thickness, to achieve that required hardness. After rolling, the material is pinch passed and final annealing is not required. To choose the correct thickness (for reduction to the desired thickness) is a matter of expertise.

Grades: This strip is available in low, medium & high carbon grades.

Applications: It is suitable for components where formability is limited. It saves the extra annealing cost. The strip is directly punched & formed and if required sent for heat treatment.

What is hardening & tempering?

Hardening and Tempering is a thermal process that strengthens steel through a controlled heating and cooling process.

This process will result in improved mechanical properties and give a tougher more durable product. The hardening process involves heating the steel to above the critical temperature for the given grade and then rapidly cooling. Whilst this process achieves the highest mechanical stengths and hardness’s, steel in this condition is extremely brittle and therefore requires further treatment in the form of tempering. This consists of reheating the steel to a lower temperature and holding the steel at the given temperature for a given period of time. As with traditional annealing (used to soften steels) this process is conducted in an inert atmosphere to avoid oxidation.

The exact temperature and processing times vary with given grades of steel and the process is very specialized.

Steel sector on course of recovery.

After witnessing weak production globally for the five quarters in a row, signs of green shoots are finally visible in the steel sector. There was a 1.8 per cent jump in the global steel output during the September quarter, thanks to a rebound in production in China.

“Bulk of the rebound in steel prices is driven by raw material price hikes along with some contribution from a less-worse demand scenario,” the brokerage firm said.

Global and Chinese steel prices have risen 56 per cent YTD (Year to date), bringing idle capacity on stream, as operations have become more viable. However, the sector is not completely out of the woods yet, the brokerage said.

Source:http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/articleshow/55602329.cms?utm_source=contentofinterest&utm_medium=text&utm_campaign=cppst

Hardened Tempered Steel Strip.

Hardening and Tempering is a thermal process that strengthens steel through a controlled heating and cooling process.

This process will result in improved mechanical properties and give a tougher more durable product. The hardening process involves heating the steel to above the critical temperature for the given grade and then rapidly cooling. Whilst this process achieves the highest mechanical stengths and hardness’s, steel in this condition is extremely brittle and therefore requires further treatment in the form of tempering. This consists of reheating the steel to a lower temperature and holding the steel at the given temperature for a given period of time. As with traditional annealing (used to soften steels) this process is conducted in an inert atmosphere to avoid oxidation.

The exact temperature and processing times vary with given grades of steel and the process is very specialized.