Steel Mills

Nucor Sets Profit Record in Q2, Expects Another in Q3

Written by Michael Cowden

Nucor set a new quarterly earnings record in the second quarter and expects to notch another in the third. The Charlotte, N.C.-based steelmaker – America’s largest – reported a profit of $1.51 billion in the second quarter of this year, up 60% from $942.2 million in the first quarter, and up nearly 14-fold from $108.9 million in the second quarter of last year.

NucorNet sales totaled $8.79 billion in the second quarter of 2021, more than double $4.33 billion in the second quarter of 2020. And the good times will continue to roll into the third, the company said in comments released with earnings results on Thursday, July 22.

“We expect to set a new record for quarterly earnings in the third quarter of 2021 as demand remains robust and virtually all the steel end-use markets that we monitor are growing,” Nucor President and CEO Leon Topalian said.

Nucor’s steel mill and steel products segments – the company also has a raw materials division (think scrap and direct-reduced iron, or DRI) – set new records for profitability in the second quarter, too. The strong showing was driven by significantly increased profits from the company’s sheet and plate mills.

The gains also resulted from higher prices. Nucor said average second-quarter selling prices were 20% higher compared to the first quarter of 2021 and 49% higher compared to the second quarter of 2020.

Steel Market Update’s pricing data indicates that sheet and plate prices were sharply higher than the average price gains disclosed by Nucor.

SMU’s hot-rolled coil price stands at $1,850 per ton ($92.50 per ton). That’s up 88% from $985 per ton at the beginning of the year and up fourfold from $460 per ton a year ago, according to SMU’s interactive price tool.

Our plate price is at $1,575 per ton ($78.75/cwt), up 80% from $875 per ton at the beginning of the year and more than double $605 per ton a year ago.

Third-quarter earnings – expected to again be the highest in Nucor’s history – will be driven by higher prices and profit margins at the company’s steel mills, with the biggest gains coming from its sheet mills, Nucor said.

By Michael Cowden,

Michael Cowden

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