Steel Product Producers

Radius posts another loss in a tough recycled metals market

Written by Laura Miller

Radius Recycling Inc.

Third quarter ended May 3120242023Change
Net sales$674$810-17%
Net earnings (loss)($199)$14-1560%
Per diluted share($6.97)$0.49-1522%
Nine months ended May 31
Net sales$1,968$2,164-9%
Net earnings (loss)($250)$324-177%
Per diluted share($8.82)
(in millions of dollars except per share)

Radius Recycling continued to bleed red in its most recent quarterly report as it negotiated persistently challenging conditions in the recycled metals market.

The Portland, Ore.-based company reported a loss of $199 million in its fiscal third quarter ended May 31, on sales that slipped 17% from last year to $674 million.

The $199-million net loss was “due primarily to a non-cash goodwill impairment charge ($216 million) reflecting the challenging market conditions for recycled metals experienced during the last year,” the company said in a statement on Tuesday.

“Market conditions over the past year have been the toughest we’ve experienced since 2015,” Radius Chairman and CEO Tamara Lundgren remarked on a related earnings conference call held that same day.

During the quarter, Radius, formerly known as Schnitzer Steel Industries, saw diverging trends in the ferrous and nonferrous markets. Global demand strengthened for nonferrous recycled metals. But on the ferrous side, elevated levels of Chinese steel exports forced selling prices lower and weakened demand for scrap.

At the same time, Radius said scrap flows and construction activity were seasonally higher. Ferrous scrap sales volumes thus rose 13% over the prior quarter, while finished steel volumes of 126,000 short tons increased 11%. The company’s steel operations produce rebar, wire rod, and other specialty products.


Lundgren said the recycled metals market is experiencing “very strong headwinds,” but noted a major difference in the current market vs. prior downturns: “The structural demand tailwinds associated with decarbonization and related low carbon technologies.”

Ferrous scrap prices have been holding up well as a result, and non-ferrous scrap prices have reached multi-year highs, she said.

“In the current market environment, the constrained supply of unprocessed recycled metals is the main driver leading to compressed margins,” she said. “We expect that as manufacturing activity improves and construction activity picks up, supply flows should expand.”

Lundgren commented on the call that Radius has more than 1 million tons of available ferrous scrap capacity and plans to increase volumes once market conditions improve.

“Today’s market conditions won’t last forever,” she said, noting the company’s legacy of “facing challenges head on and navigating through the toughest of times.”

Laura Miller

Read more from Laura Miller

Latest in Steel Product Producers