Steel Products

ASD Honors Lourenco Goncalves as its “Steel Executive of the Year”

Written by John Packard

The Association of Steel Distributors honored Cleveland-Cliffs Chairman, President and CEO Lourenco Goncalves as its Steel Executive of the Year. The honor was bestowed on Goncalves at a dinner earlier this week in conjunction with the Fabricators & Manufacturers Association conference in Miami.

The award is designed to recognize individuals who have demonstrated the ability to be true leaders in the industry. The award was created in 1956 by ASD to recognize individuals who have made lasting contributions to the industry over a significant period of time.

Lourenco GoncalvesGoncalves spoke earlier in the day at the FMA conference. He reiterated many of the themes presented at the Tampa Steel Conference last week.

He told the group assembled he is not concerned about the new capacity coming into the market.

Cliffs has no intention of selling DRI or pig iron to their competitors.

He continued to suggest steel buyers should be buying on fixed price contracts. He told the group he is walking away from spot business tied to indexed pricing.

He has no interest in acquiring steel service centers.

The big issue with CO2 emissions is automotive and the energy markets, not the steel market, he said. Steel mills are responsible for only 1% of the CO2 emissions in the United States. Auto tailpipe emissions account for 29% and energy another 25%. He suggested energy needs to go the nuclear route.

A typical electric vehicle contains 1.2 tons of steel versus a conventional vehicle with 1 ton.

He told the group that how the U.S. addresses the issues with Russia will be very important to send a message to China.

He said Section 232 has accomplished its goal of strengthening the domestic steel industry and allowing the mills to invest in their future. He does not believe Canada has a “right” to do business in the United States. He considers them a foreign country and is not a supporter of the USMCA.

Goncalves said he believes a good benchmark for hot rolled steel would be around $1,000 per ton. At that level, the domestic mills would be able to remain profitable and still invest in the future.

Goncalves has been the top executive at Cleveland-Cliffs since August 2014. During his tenure, he has led the company through a major strategic initiative, transforming the company into a leading player in the U.S. steel industry. He was able to accomplish a financial turnaround, followed by growth initiatives in the metallics market and their entry into the steel business.

Earlier in his career, Goncalves held various executive roles at Metals USA Holdings Group, California Steel Industries, and Companhia Siderugica Nacional (CSN) in Brazil.

He is the recipient of numerous awards, including the AIST’s Steelmaker of the Year Award and the CEO/Chairperson of the Year Global Metals Award. Goncalves holds a masters degree in Metallurgical Engineering from the Federal University of Minas Gerais in Belo Horizonte, Brazil, and a bachelor’s degree in Metallurgical Engineering from the Military Institute of Engineering in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

By John Packard, 

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