NLMK USA sales in 2012 grew 5 percent to 1.742 million tonnes (1.920 million net tons) from 1.658 million tonnes in 2011 (1.827 million net tons). Of the total, NLMK Indiana had a record hot rolled steel output of 725,000 tonnes (799,175 net tons), a 19 percent increase year-over-year. The balance of the hot rolled as well as all of the cold rolled was produced by the company’s Farrell facility. Year-over-sales for hot rolled coil were up 17 percent while cold rolled coil dropped 14.7 percent as it was used as feedstock for galvanized steel production (Sharon Coatings) that grew by 6.5 percent.
NLMK USA fourth quarter sales were down 2.16 percent at 407,000 tonnes (448,640 net tons) compared to 416,000 tonnes (458,561 net tons) in the third quarter but sales were up 11.8 percent year-over-year.
Sale of slab from Novolipetsk to NLMK USA was 680,000 tonnes for the year and 358,000 tonnes for the quarter. This represents 86.7 percent of the 412,864 tonnes of Russian slabs imported into the U.S. during the 4th Quarter 2012 and 49.6 percent of the 1,371,519 tonnes of Russian slabs received in the U.S during the calendar year.
NLMK Europe sales dropped 18.5 percent to 225,000 tonnes in the fourth quarter, 31.1 percent below fourth quarter 2011. Sales for 2012 were at 1.6 million tonnes and a drop of 5.6 percent from 2011 levels at 1.3 million tonnes. Annual production was down 14 percent year-over-year to 1.19 million tonnes.
NLMK Group announced sales for the year jumped 18.4 percent to 15.2 million tonnes–overtaking for the first time competitor Severstal who reported sales of 14.6 million tonnes for the year. Fourth quarter sales totaled 3.7 million tonnes, down 3.1 percent from the previous quarter. NLMK Group bumped up sales of semi-finished products to counter weak demand for rolled steel in export markets. Total steel production grew 25 percent in 2012 to 14.9 million tons—95 percent from the Group’s Russian assets.
New blast furnace gives NLMK Russia an edge
NLMK topped its competitors in Russian steelmaking last quarter due to its newest blast furnace. Commissioned in July of 2012, it is the first new blast furnace to be built in Russia in the past 25 years.
Blast Furnace 7 incorporates the most advanced environmental and resource-savings technologies available, including a high efficiency de-dusting system and a closed water cycle, resulting in lower fuel consumption and better productivity. In addition, blast furnace gas is used as a raw material for the generation of energy at NLMK’s new 150 MW recovery co-generation plant. The new blast furnace, in combination with a new Basic Oxygen Furnace, raises the steel output capability at the site by 36 percent according to NLMK data.
Reports in the past week for steel produced in Russia show NLMK ahead of other Russian steelmakers with 15.5 million tons, followed by MMK with 13.4 million net tons, Evraz at 12.9 million net tons, and Severstal with 11.6 million net tons. Evraz, Russia’s biggest steel producer in terms of global output, blamed its output decline on shutdown of some of its Russian mills for maintenance, however, 20ll production was 13.3 million net tons, still well below NLMK’s 2012 level.
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