Steel Mills

SSAB Americas Has Solid 4th Quarter

Written by Sandy Williams

SSAB Americas improved its operating profit in fourth quarter 2013 to $27.8 million from $17 million in the same period in 2012. Sales for the quarter increased 17 percent from the previous quarter, totaling $581.7 million compared to $499 million year-over-year. For full year 2013, sales totaled $2.216 billion, slipping from $2.492 billion in 2012. SSAB Americas sales accounted for 41 percent of SSAB’s total external sales in 2013.

Steel shipments totaled 657,000 tonnes in the fourth quarter, and were 5 percent up five percent from third quarter and 24 percent year-over-year. Niche steel product shipments totaled 157 thousand tonnes, up from 135 thousand tonnes in the third quarter and accounted for 24 percent of total shipments.

Crude steel production increased 2 percent from third quarter and was 25 percent higher than Q4 2012.

Higher demand was noted from Heavy Transport and Service Centers during the fourth quarter along with continued strong demand from the Energy sector.

Niche steel prices were unchanged from the previous quarter but when compared to fourth quarter 2012, niche products were down 3 percent and standard steel 2 percent. SSAB expects price increase announcements at the end of 2013 and early 2014 will have a gradual impact in Q1 an Q2 but will be somewhat offset by higher scrap prices.

The SSAB outlook expects positive growth in general for North America and for the energy sector, in particular.

A maintenance outage planned at the end of first quarter for SSAB Mobile is expected to negatively affect shipment volumes in the first and second quarters and impact earnings by $23 million.

Swedish steel maker SSAB posted a bigger loss than expected at $43.2 million for its six consecutive quarter of loss but showed improvement over third quarter and fourth quarter 2012. Lower prices offset increased capacity utilization and higher volumes. Weak demand and the strength of the Swedish krona also hurt earnings for the quarter. SSAB expects the addition of steel maker Rautaruukki will create opportunities for improvement in 2014.

The company said in its earnings statement: “The European market was weak in 2013, but there are indications that the market has bottomed out. In Asia, especially in China, general demand for steel is expected to grow in 2014, but at a slower pace.”
(Note: dollar amounts have been converted from SEK 2/8/2014)


Latest in Steel Mills