EU Flat Product Steel Price Roundup from MEPS

Strip mill product basis prices, for second quarter 2018 delivery, moved up in many European markets, in January. Regional producers continue to promote further rises, in order to achieve their new target values, announced in December 2017. The increases negotiated, this month, are supported by the absence of attractive third country import offers, good order books at the domestic steelmakers, an upturn in mill input costs and a gradual improvement in demand, as distributors restock.

Strong growth in Germany’s manufacturing sector has translated into buoyant steel demand. Domestic mill delivery lead times are extending and third country material is difficult to source at competitive prices, due to trade defence measures and rising international selling figures. Distributors started to rebuild their stocks in early 2018. Second quarter business for strip mill products was negotiated at prices above those reported in December 2017. Domestic steelmakers continue to push for more.

The price trend remains positive in the French market, as producers continue to propose increases. It was expected that these would be implemented for strip mill products but acceptance has yet to be fully confirmed. Delivery lead times from European steelmakers remain extended, with mills declaring full order books for the first quarter. Moreover, import offers are more expensive than domestic values. Even though January order intake began slowly, distributors are confident that activity will resume on a steady level, following very brisk sales in the month of December. However, a number of customers stated that they will restrict purchases, this month, as stocks are already at an adequate level.

Price rises proved problematic for the Italian mills, in early December 2017. Basis values finally began to move up later in the month, as domestic mills lifted their price offers in line with higher quotations from third country suppliers. Now, the steelmakers are asking for further hikes, based on the escalating costs of raw materials and a more robust demand situation.

UK manufacturing output is expanding at its fastest rate since 2008, after recording a seventh consecutive month of growth, in November 2017. Stocks, at the service centres, however, are still relatively high, creating negative pressure on resale values. Nevertheless, distributors’ sales of most strip mill products are reasonably brisk, following the return from the Christmas/New Year vacation. Import offers from third country sources continue to be higher than domestic quotations. Basis values are unchanged, at present. However, ArcelorMittal recently announced an increase for second quarter deliveries.

Although the Belgian steel market was slow at the start of January, sales began to pick up quite quickly. Domestic steelmakers pushed hard for price rises, citing escalating production costs. Moreover, competitive offers from third country suppliers are scarce. Quantities from European mills are also limited, with delivery lead times extending into the second trimester. Buyers are prepared to pay more for March deliveries and expect even higher prices when deals for the second quarter are finalised. Resale values are also climbing, as most distributors apply the new increase in mill prices.

Spanish service centres report healthy sales volumes. In early January, buyers settled for their March/April deliveries, conceding a €10/15 per tonne rise. Resale values continue to be problematic. Customers are purchasing only small quantities. Import prices, for April/May arrival, having moved up sharply, are no longer attractive.

Source: MEPS – European Steel Review – January 2018 Issue

EU Steel Prices to Reach Seven-Year High in Spring 2018

European flat and long product steel selling figures increased, in January. Local mills raised their offer prices in an attempt to recoup recent rises in raw material costs. Further escalation in steel prices is anticipated, in the short term. Consequently, the MEPS EU average all products composite selling figure is expected to rise to its highest level since April 2011.

Domestic flat product steelmakers should be able to secure, at least, a proportion of their proposed price rises, as delivery lead times extend. Import tonnage is expected to remain low, as a result of trade defence measures and uncompetitive quotations from third country suppliers.

European flat product prices are forecast to come under negative pressure as the summer approaches. Reduced raw material costs and declining international steel selling figures are anticipated, during that period.

Transaction values for long products are projected to rise, in February. Producers will continue to promote price increases, buoyed by their good order books. However, MEPS predicts that selling figures are approaching the peak of the current cycle. Cost pressures for the mills are expected to begin to ease, in the second quarter. Furthermore, steel supply is forecast to outstrip market requirements.

Source: MEPS – European Steel Review – January 2018 Issue

Shandong Iron & Steel orders Multipas annealing simulator from Primetals Technologies

  • Multipas is used for product development and process optimization in heat treatment plants
  • Shortens the run-up phase of heat treatment plants
  • System to be installed in the research center of the new iron and steel works
  • Tenth order for an annealing simulator received by Primetals Technologies

Shandong Iron and Steel Group Rizhao Co. Ltd., a Chinese steel producer, has ordered a Multipas (multipurpose annealing simulator) from Primetals Technologies. The system will be installed in the research center of the new iron and steel works under construction south of Rizhao. Multipas will be used there for product development and process optimization in heat treatment plants. One of the main reasons for awarding the order to Primetals Technologies was the universal usability of the annealing simulator. Its use shortens the run-up phase of heat treatment plants and simplifies their optimization. So far, this is the tenth order for a Multipas system. Commissioning is scheduled for September 2018.

Shandong Iron & Steel Group Rizhao Co., Ltd. is a subsidiary company of the Shandong Iron & Steel Group. It was founded in 2009 as a key component of the Shansteel Rizhao Quality Products Base and as the end processor for materials. The company is currently constructing a new integrated iron and steel works to the south of Rizhao on the coast of the Yellow Sea. A research center is being built on the site for product development and process optimization, which will also be equipped with rolling and annealing simulators.

In a Multipas annealing simulator samples of cold-rolled plates with dimensions up to of 500 x 300?millimeters and a thickness of up to three millimeters are heated by conduction up to a temperature of 1,200°C by a maximum electric current of 8,000?amperes. Depending on the geometry of the sample, the heating rates are up to 100?kelvins per second. The samples can then be cooled in very different ways. The two main forms of cooling are gas jet cooling with cooling rates of up to 100?kelvins per second and water quenching. This method cools a sample with water at rates of up to 1,000?kelvins per second, which enables the microstructure to be “frozen”. The sample is then examined in the laboratory. A Multipas is also equipped with spray water and mist jet nozzles, and fan cooling. The wide range of heating and cooling speeds is necessary in order to be able to simulate on a small scale all possible and future heat treatments in the large-scale plant.

The Multipas system is assembled in the Mechatronic Laboratory of Primetals Technologies in Linz, Austria. The laboratory also conducts all the functional tests and the preliminary acceptance by the customer. The Multipas system will be shipped to Rizhao at the end of June 2018. Specialists from Primetals Technologies will then install and commission the simulator. This is the tenth order for a Multipas system, which has already been supplied to customers in Austria, Germany, South Korea and China.

Multipas (multipurpose annealing simulator) from Primetals Technologies. A simulator of this type will be installed in the research laboratory of the new iron and steel works of the Shandong Iron and Steel Group Rizhao Co., Ltd. near Rizhao, China.

Source: Primetals Technologies is not responsible for the content of third party sites.


Luxembourg/Beijing, 22 January 2018.?On Monday, the 18th?of December 2017, at 19:16 local time, Shandong Steel Group Rizhao blew in their first Blast Furnace at a new production site which shall help to phase out older ironmaking facilities in the group. Just 26 hours later, the first hot metal has been tapped from the furnace for which Paul Wurth supplied top charging and slag granulation technology.

The current phase of construction consists of two Blast Furnaces with 5,100 cubic meters inner volume each. They become some of the largest BFs to be equipped with an original Central Feed type Bell Less Top??charging system. Furthermore, at each furnace, Paul Wurth’s INBA??cold water system with 2 dewatering drums will ensure reliable slag sand production.

The commissioning of BF2 is foreseen for summer this year.

Paul Wurth also designed the coke batteries for this plant project and delivers the SOPRECO??single oven pressure control valves and SUPRACOK? L2 automation packages.

Source: Paul Wurth is not responsible for the content of third party sites.

Medium Sections and Rebar Prices Rise in Northern Europe

Steel beam selling values increased, in Denmark, this month, buoyed by rising scrap costs. Consumption is satisfactory. Delivery lead times, from regional mills, are between four and six weeks. Private and public sector housebuilding activity is at a high level, in Sweden. Demand for apartments, for young people, is growing. A sharp, upward steel price hike, in Finland, was buoyed by increased scrap expenditure and healthy sales volumes. Beam selling figures were lifted, in late December, in the Netherlands. Further increments are expected. Construction activity is strong, in Norway. This helped to boost ex-mill values for sections, this month.

Rising scrap costs contributed to increasing rebar prices, in Denmark, in January. The mild winter, so far, has allowed infrastructure projects to proceed – resulting in healthy rebar consumption. The construction sector is busy, in Sweden, without serious disruption from the weather. Substantial rebar price hikes arose from strong demand and soaring scrap outlay. Sales picked up, in January, in Finland, following a seasonal slowdown, in December. Growing raw material expenditure, for the mills, supported increasing rebar values. Distributors succeeded in passing price hikes on to end-users. Material from Russian producers is cheap but offers from southern European mills are becoming less competitive. The Netherlands economy is booming – especially the housing sector. EU mills are busy. Turkish suppliers are present, in the market, but their offers are not attractive. Construction and infrastructure activity is at a high level, in Norway.

Source: European Steel Review Supplement – January 2018 Edition

Primetals Technologies to revamp continuous bloom caster at NISCO

  • Continuous bloom caster to receive an additional strand
  • An additional format with a rectangular cross section of 320×420 millimeters can be cast

Chinese steel producer Nanjing Iron & Steel United Co., Ltd (NISCO) awarded Primetals Technologies the order to revamp its bloom caster No. 8 at the Steel Plant No. 3 in Nanjing. The caster, supplied by Primetals Technologies, was originally designed as a five-strand machine and was set up and operated as a three-strand caster since 2008. The current revamp will encompass the installation of a fourth strand, enabling the production of an additional bloom format with a rectangular cross section of 320 x 420 millimeters. The revamped caster is scheduled to come on stream in June 2018.

NISCO, established in 1958, owns a total production capacity of 10 million metric tons of steel per year, including the production capacity of its key product plate-in-coil, covering more than 3 million metric tons per year, with integration of iron ore mining and dressing, iron making, steel making, steel rolling and steel further processing. The company operates a total of four continuous casting machines supplied by Primetals Technologies.

Bloom caster No. 8 is located in NISCO′s Steel Plant No. 3, an electric steelmaking facility with a production capacity of 1.5 million metric tons per year. The caster itself may produce 0.6 million metric tons per year with three strands. It features a machine radius of 12 meters and a metallurgical length of 37.1 meters, and up to now casts blooms with a rectangular cross section of 320 x 480 millimeters. Maximum casting speed is 0.6 meters per minute. The caster processes steel grades from low to high carbon steels as well as special alloyed steels.

For the original machine started up in 2008, Primetals Technologies had procured the basic engineering of the entire casting equipment as well as the detail engineering of key components. Supplies included curved plate type molds with LevCon mold level control and external mold stirrer, DynaFlex hydraulic oscillators with on-line stroke, frequency and wave pattern adjustment, the strand guides consisting of:exchangeable segments 1– 3, 7 withdrawal stands with DynaGap SoftReduction for bloom casters, chain type dummy bars with bottom feeding system, the DynaSpeed secondary cooling model, and the runout area equipped with torch cutting, marking, deburring and walking beam collecting table. The level 1 and level 2 automation systems were also part of the project as was the VAI-Q Bloom quality control system.

Source: Primetals Technologies is not responsible for the content of third party sites.