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Iron ore prices pressured by supply softer China steel market

Reuters reported that greater supply of iron ore and a subdued Chinese steel market may weigh on prices for the steelmaking raw material when China reopens after a week long holiday.

Trading in both iron ore physical and swaps markets remained thin a day before Chinese markets resume trading. Benchmark 62% grade iron ore .IO62-CNI=SI for delivery to top market China stood at USD 131.40 per tonne over the past week, based on data compiled by Steel Index.

A Hong Kong based trader said that there's a bit of concern over more availability of spot iron ore from miners so traders are not in a hurry to take on any positions.

Iron ore exports to China from Australia's Port Hedland, which handles about a fifth of the global seaborne iron ore market, rose 3.2% to just under 23 million tonnes in September from August.

Global miners have been ramping up output confident Chinese demand will remain brisk. Rio Tinto loaded the first shipment of iron ore from its expanded annual capacity in Australia of 290 million tonnes in September and has said a further expansion of its port, rail and power infrastructure is underway towards a planned 360 million tonnes capacity.

Traders will be eyeing Shanghai rebar futures on Tuesday. They hit a 12 week low of CNY 3,570 per tonne shortly before Chinese markets closed for the National Day holiday amid rising steel stockpiles.

An iron ore swaps broker said that "Some of the Chinese expect a move down during the re opening. We have probably been sitting on the bullish side for the past couple of weeks given the low inventories for iron ore at ports and sustained appetite for steel."

Source - Reuters
Voda, jij moet Google-ad's aanvragen bij je posts. Verdien je er een aardig centje bij ;-)
PARIJS - Op 8 oktober 2013 hebben de analisten van Kepler Cheuvreux hun beleggingsadvies voor ArcelorMittal (MT; ISIN: LU0323134006) herhaald. Het advies van Kepler Cheuvreux voor ArcelorMittal blijft "kopen".

Het koersdoel wordt door de analisten verhoogd van 11,00 EUR naar 12,00 EUR.

Snance schreef op 8 oktober 2013 17:22:

Voda, jij moet Google-ad's aanvragen bij je posts. Verdien je er een aardig centje bij ;-)

Had gekund, beste Snance. Doe het echter gratis voor onze mede posters/lezers hier. Sterker nog, er moet zwaar geld bij! :-0
ArcelorMittal investeert EUR92 mln in staalfabriek in Frankrijk

AMSTERDAM (Dow Jones)--ArcelorMittal (MT.AE) meldt woensdag dat de staalgigant EUR92 miljoen gaat investeren in de verbetering van een staalfabriek in Frankrijk.

's Werelds grootste staalconcern zal met de investering de capaciteit van de staalfabriek in Duinkerken aan de Franse noordkust handhaven op 7 miljoen ton per jaar.

Het concern heeft in de afgelopen jaren in het oosten van Frankrijk en Belgie een aantal activiteiten stilgelegd, gezien de stagnerende vraag naar staal, vanwege de financiele crisis.

- Door Inti Landauro, vertaald en bewerkt door Patrick Buis; Dow Jones Nieuwsdienst; +31 20 571 52 00;

Brugpensioen vanaf 52,5 jaar bij ArcelorMittal?
09/10/13, 19u55
De vakbonden bij ArcelorMittal in Luik hebben vandaag voorstellen gelanceerd om de sociale impact van de sluiting van een aantal koude lijnen zoveel mogelijk te beperken. Zo vragen de bonden onder meer brugpensioen - officieel "het stelsel van werkloosheid met bedrijfstoeslag" - vanaf 52,5 jaar. .

Hiervoor moeten zowel de directie van het staalconcern als de federale regering wel het licht op groen zetten. Volgens berekeningen van de bonden zouden tussen de 330 en 450 werknemers bij ArcelorMittal in aanmerking komen. "Dat hangt onder meer af van de data van erkenning door de directie."

De directie heeft haar standpunt nog niet bekendgemaakt. Volgende week wordt er verder onderhandeld. De bonden willen tegen dan nog meer voorstellen lanceren om jobs te redden.

Ook bij machinefabrikant Caterpillar ligt een voorstel op tafel voor "brugpensioen" op 52,5 jaar. Bij Ford Genk heeft minister van Werk Monica De Coninck het licht op groen gezet voor het stelsel vanaf 52 jaar.

Bron: Belga
Banks guarantee USD 2 billion dollar loan to Essar Steel

Indian lenders have agreed to guarantee a USD 2 billion overseas loan for the Essar Steel which would allow it to repay a part of its INR 31,500 crore rupee denominated debt.

The unconditional guarantee being offered by consortium, led by the State Bank of India might well be the largest such guarantee offered in the recent past, bankers confirmed to FE.

Mr Ashutosh Agarwala director (finance) and CFO of Essar Steel told FE that “We asked banks for a guarantee to help us raise foreign currency loans that would be cheaper and help us prepay rupee term loans.”

Mr Agarwala confirmed that the Reserve Bank of India had earlier given Essar Steel permission to raise up to USD 2 billion by securitising exports, but the company hasn’t been able to close out any amount so far. The approval allows for a guarantee from Indian banks.

Source - Financial Express
Steel market remains in stalemate after National Holiday in China

Day 2 after the National holiday in China price levels remain unchanged deepening the ambiguity over the direction. September price levels are remained depressed after a brief rally in July. Mills had regained production momentum last month after some correction in August.

In Sep, China’s steel sector Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) fell 4.2 points month on month to 49.2, swinging back into contraction after a rise for two months in a row.

The sub-index for production inched up 1.1 points from Aug to 53, showing mills’ enthusiasm about expanding production. New order sub-index plunged 8.7 points to 49.2 and new export order sub-gauge dropped 7.8 points to 44.9, piling up steelmakers’ pressure of promoting orders. The sub-index for finished product inventory soared 14.8 points to 52.6, a sign that mills saw their steel stockpile gain obviously.

Positivism has not total eluded the market with domestic economy on the mend continuously, as investment in highways, railways, and urban infrastructure construction gets boosted and the manufacturing sector is recovering, so steel demand has potential to grow in the future.

Supply pressure notwithstanding, credit crunch within the steel industry hasn’t been changed and the concerns over US Fed’s withdrawal of its bond-purchasing program still lingers.

Market stands at cross roads but optimism of burst in early November before the winter recess is imminent.

Source - Strategic Research Institute

Morgan Stanley raises iron outlook as deficit persists into 2014

Morgan Stanley increased its iron ore forecasts for the Q1 and Q2 of next year as global demand recovers and the seaborne market remains in deficit well into 2014.

Analysts Mr Peter Richardson and Mr Joel Crane said that “The steelmaking ingredient will average USD 130 per tonne in the first three months, USD 5 more than previously forecast and USD 120 in the Q2 up from USD 117. Ore will average USD 120 in 2014, an increase of 3%.

Iron ore entered a bull market in July as users in China replenished stockpiles that shrank in March to the lowest level since 2009. Australia’s Bureau of Resources and Energy Economics said last week that prices will average USD 119 in 2014 from USD 112 forecast in June as surging Chinese consumption absorbs gains in output that are seen pushing the global market into surplus. Morgan Stanley reiterated that its view was above consensus.

They said that “Although we believe market concerns over price into 2014 are warranted, they are overly pessimistic. Outside of China, steel output growth will see its best year since 2011, led by modest rebounds in production in India, East Asia and North America.”

The seaborne market will extend three years of deficit into the H1 of 2014, before shifting to surplus. The deficit is forecast to narrow from 71 million tonnes this half to 25 million tonnes between January and June next year and then swing to a surplus of 49 million tonnes in the H2 of 2014.

Source -
China planned iron ore futures a threat to dominant swaps market

Reuters reported that China's imminent launch of its first iron ore futures contract could pose a threat to the USD 28 billion swaps market in the commodity by exploiting massive untapped hedging potential at home.

The contract to be offered by the Dalian Commodity Exchange likely before year end will be China's latest stab at boosting its power to price the world's second largest traded commodity after oil as a more volatile iron ore market exposes its legion of steel mills to more risks.

By being the first yuan denominated iron ore futures contract, the Dalian exchange can easily draw on the growing hedging appetite in China, a market that bourses in Singapore, the United States and Europe have been trying to tap for years.

Beijing has kept a tight rein on overseas derivatives trading by state owned firms after many lost billions of dollars in offshore futures during the global financial crisis. The lack of a domestic hedging tool has led Chinese companies to increase their use of the US dollar denominated cash-settled swaps offered by the Singapore Exchange and CME Group.

Mr Zhao Qian senior broker with CITIC Securities Futures in Shanghai said that "The market is in China, so Dalian's futures will attract a big number of domestic companies because this can help them avoid currency volatilities and restrictions which is a big challenge to Singapore's swaps. In the longer term, Beijing hopes to gain more pricing power via its own futures and it is hoping it can become a market benchmark."

China buys at least 60 percent of the world's seaborne iron ore and last year that reached a record 744 million tonnes, almost seven times the size of swaps cleared by the Singapore Exchange, pointing to the huge hedging opportunity in China.

A Singapore-based broker said that "There's no doubt the Dalian exchange will do a lot because there is a hell of a lot of untapped liquidity in China that is not trading iron ore swaps. With more than 127 million tonnes traded last year, the swaps market accounts for just over a tenth of the 1.1 billion tonnes of seaborne iron ore sold annually.”

But the volume is rapidly increasing. In January to September this year, nearly 210 million tonnes of swaps have been traded, valued at USD 28.3 billion based on the average price of about USD 135 per tonne. SGX clears over 90% of global iron ore swaps.

Source - Reuters

Imported iron ore stockpiles decline in China

Xinhua reported that stockpiles of iron ore at a sample of 25 major Chinese ports declined last week.

At the end of the September 24th to October 7th 2013 period, inventories of imported iron ore at the ports stood at 73.27 million tonnes down 58,000 tonnes or 0.08% on the previous sample period.

Usually measured over one week, the report this time covered two weeks because of China's National Day holiday. These impacted iron ore prices.

The price index for 62% grade iron ore dropped 2 points from the previous week to 130. The index for 58% grade iron ore shed 1 point to 120.

Source - Xinhua
Credit Suisse upgrades iron ore

One of the more noted iron ore bears in investment bank land, Credit Suisse has upgraded its price forecasts. But there’s still sting in the tail:

It is not our base case for rising supply to trigger an immediate and dramatic fall in prices. Rather, we believe they will ease back as mills maintain or, taking advantage of such ample supply, slightly increase raw material stocks in preparation for their next output increase in Q1 2014.

In terms of risks to this view, we see few potential catalysts for an immediate acceleration in run rates but, given the demonstrated resilience of mills’ output, we have to consider the possibility that it could hold up close to current levels for the next three months. If this occurs, we believe that domestic steel markets would push into greater surpluses, furthering the sell down of rebar, in which instance mills’ margins would come under further pressure and there would be a real likelihood that they ran another destocking cycle; this they have already done twice in the past 18 months. This would then push iron ore prices lower on reduced apparent, if not actual, demand. Furthermore, were coking coal to continue its recent relative gains, this could provide the catalyst for iron ore to catch down to rebar prices.

As with supply, we do not therefore see why demand would contribute to a tighter near term market, even if good volumes are still being both purchased and consumed. Our base case is for prices to ease back but it would be short sighted to dismiss the risk of an, albeit temporary, more dramatic downswing. Iron ore’s volatility has been well demonstrated in recent years, with moves in either direction tending to overshoot.

2014 and 2015: The key years to come;
Once into Q1 next year, we expect the market to tighten temporarily on reduced availability of domestically produced Chinese tonnage, as well as the usual weather disruptions to both Australian and Brazilian shipments. Thereafter, we believe the market will face its first true test of a period in surplus.

2015 should then follow a similar pattern, with firmer pricing in Q1 before the remainder of the year provides iron ore with its second period of significant surplus. Again, the Australian majors should play a key role as BHPB de bottlenecks its existing operation and Rio begins to take the initial steps on the path to 360 MT per year capacity. Brazil will also need to play a larger role here as Vale adds a further 28 Mt, Anglo finally starts the Minas Rio project, shipping 6 MT and Usiminas expands exports toward 6 MT.

Price falls required to balance the market;
Were producers’ aggregate behaviour perfectly rational, on these base-case assumptions, prices would merely need to fall to the marginal cost of production, on which point it is worth noting that consensus price forecasts line up very well with the marginal cost of production on our proprietary cost curve.

However, as has been demonstrated time and again, prices tend to reset costs. In the shorter term, many producers have high fixed costs and may often stay operational longer than supply cost curves might suggest. Prices invariably undershoot for a period of time before supply and demand come back into balance. Further, market-clearing is dominated by cargoes entering the market on nearer term pricing, meaning sharper falls are likely as mills withdraw from purchasing volumes literally at sea.

Source -
Nucor's South Carolina wire rod mill begins shipments
October 10, 2013 - 20:20 GMT Location: New York
KEYWORDS: Nucor , wire rod , South Carolina , USA

US steelmaker Nucor has begun shipments from its wire rod mill in the state of South Carolina as it concludes commissioning the new facility, a spokeswoman has told Metal Bulletin sister publication AMM.

The new mill, part of the company’s Darlington bar mill, has an annual capacity of 300,000 tons in a range of sizes. “Nucor is concluding the commissioning of its newly constructed wire rod mill at the Nucor Steel-South Carolina bar mill in Darlington,” the spokeswoman said. “The new mill is capable of producing wire rod down to 5.5mm (7/32 inch) and bar-in-coil
ThyssenKrupp awarded contract for large fertilizer plant in Belarus
7:01 AM MDT | October 11, 2013

ThyssenKrupp Industrial Solutions (Hamburg) has been awarded a contract for a large fertilizer plant in Belarus. The contract, awarded by Grodno Azot, covers basic and detailed engineering, supply of equipment and materials, and supervision of construction and start-up for a complex comprising facilities producing 1,200 m.t./day nitric acid and 3,395 m.t./day liquid ammonium nitrate solution containing 32% nitrogen. Uhde, a subsidiary of ThyssenKrupp, will provide its process technology. The facilities will be integrated into Grodno Azot’s existing chemical...

Rabo verwacht wisselend cijferseizoen

Gepubliceerd op 11 okt 2013 om 13:04 | Views: 1.143

AMSTERDAM (AFN) - Rabobank verwacht een wisselend cijferseizoen. De resultaten van Beter Bed, Grontmij, Vopak en TNT Express kunnen lager uitkomen dan verwacht, terwijl voor USG People, Sligro en Reed Elsevier ruimte is om de verwachtingen te overtreffen. Dat schrijft Rabo in een vooruitblik op het cijferseizoen dat vrijdag verscheen.

De bedrijven die volgens Rabo waarschijnlijk aan de verwachtingen zullen voldoen zijn Ahold, Arcadis, ArcelorMittal, Corbion en OCI. Bij Philips zal het operationeel resultaat waarschijnlijk in lijn zijn, maar onder de streep kan mogelijk een tegenvaller komen door negatieve wisselkoerseffecten, denkt de bank.
ThyssenKrupp Steel deploys Quintiq software platform

Quintiq announced that ThyssenKrupp Steel Europe AG is using its software to optimize customer orders for increased delivery performance.

The Quintiq platform factors in finite resource capacity, business rules and additional constraints in its planning to improve delivery performance for ThyssenKrupp Steel Europe AG. In addition, the active stock planning support function will anticipate targets to keep stock at a optimum level.

Mr Andreas Gonschorek Corporate Planning and Process Optimisation at ThyssenKrupp Steel Europe AG said that "We have a complex way of planning our campaigns and we required a single system that could accommodate all of our niche constraints. In an intensive and trustful dialog the experts of Quintiq and TKSE formed the software to fit the TKSE-requirements."

He added that "Leading steel companies use Quintiq's 100%-fit SCP&O solutions that are specifically designed for the industry," said Francois Eijgelshoven, VP EMEA at Quintiq. Being selected by a world leader in carbon steel flat products further reinforces our position as the leading solution provider for the metals sector. We're pleased to partner with ThyssenKrupp Steel Europe AG to help optimizing its company planning process."

Source – Strategic Research Institute
Steel maker gets check for USD 2.5 million for energy efficiencies

The Tennessee Valley Authority along with Gov Phil Bryant presented a check for more than USD 2.5 million to Severstal North America for achieving energy efficiencies at its Columbus plant through TVA’s Major Industrial Program.

The TVA program encourages reductions in electric energy intensity in large industrial facilities having greater than 5 megawatts of contract demand. The greatest efficiency opportunity identified at the Severstal steel plant was retrofitting four 2,750 horsepower fans that send particulates from the plant’s electric arc furnace to a bag house for air pollution control.

Using customized assistance from TVA, Severstal was able to reduce its total energy usage by 25,251,390 kilowatt-hours, enough to power 2,000 average TVA homes.

Ms Madhu Ranade vice president and general manager for Severstal Columbus said that ”This is one additional step toward improving our operational competitiveness. We appreciate TVA’s partnership and support in this project.”

Source -

Increased iron ore supply expected to reduce price volatility

BNamericas cited Mr Jose Carlos Martins director of iron ore and strategy for Brazilian mining giant Vale as saying that increased iron ore supplies are expected to reduce volatility in the commodity's price.

Mr Martins said that "This iron ore supply would satisfy an expected 21% growth in steel demand by the end of the decade, driven mostly by Asian and emerging economies. Nevertheless, the industry cost curve will support price levels at three digit figures."

He said that meanwhile, iron ore supply and demand should balance in 2014, when supplies are forecast to start exceeding demand. The new iron ore capacities coming online will result in a gradual rise in supplies. Vale remains optimistic regarding the future demand for iron ore. The company's production is expected to reach 306 MT and 450 MT in 2013 and 2014, respectively.

He added that to achieve this, Vale's iron ore mining and logistics expansion projects will require USD 34 billion until 2018 including its Carajás S11D, one of the largest iron ore projects currently being developed.

Source - Business News Americas

WSA awards ArcelorMittal for health and safety excellence

The World Steel Association has recognised ArcelorMittal's sites in Venezuela and Mexico for excellence in their health and safety programmes.

At the association's annual conference in Sao Paulo, Brazil, Unicon ArcelorMittal's Venezuela operations which are part of the tubular products division - and the company's Lazaro Cárdenas facility in Mexico, were both commended with separate awards for specific health and safety initiatives and overall progress in workplace safety.

Management committee member Robrecht Himpe received the award on behalf of the company.

The programmes demonstrated a commitment to health and safety and fulfilled three key criteria
1. Positively embracing the worldsteel safety and health principles
2. Demonstrating a positive impact upon safety metrics
3. Being easily applicable to other member companies

ArcelorMittal Unicon joined ArcelorMittal's group wide 'Journey to Zero' campaign in 2008, taking a systematic approach with the company's leaders demonstrating their commitment to the program. Three different types of barriers to achieving the goal of zero injuries were identified: technical, organisational and behavioral. Several specific initiatives have been implemented to address the three barriers with more to come. The initiatives have shown major results in the five years since; our Venezuelan operations have reduced their lost time injury frequency rate (LTIFR) by an impressive 90%.

In Mexico, our Lazaro Cárdenas site implemented a safety management program in 2009, specifically designed for contractors. The program has been deployed across six main areas: mandatory safety training; access control; operational control risk; contractor safety supervising; golden ACES or trained safety experts overseeing work during major shutdowns, and safety evaluation performance. There have been zero fatalities at the site in three years and the LTIFR has reduced by 80%.

Commenting on the award, Mr Frank Haers group head of health and safety said that "It is a great result that two ArcelorMittal sites have made such great progress that they have won a Health and Safety Excellence Recognition Award from Worldsteel this year. Both awards are the result of a well-managed, multi year approach to bring safety to the shop floor, and ensuring everyone is engaged and taking part in the program."

Source – Strategic Research Institute

ArcelorMittal Kryviy Rih to open three new steel warehouses this year

Ukrainian Journal reported that ArcelorMittal Kryviy Rih (Dnipropetrovsk region) is planning by the end of the year to open three more warehouses for steel goods in addition to its existing two storage facilities, with the possibility of expanding the range of goods through supplies from other enterprises of the company.

ArcelorMittal Kryviy Rih Sales Director for Ukraine and the CIS Mr Anastasia Tatarulyeva said in an interview with the Metallurg corporate newspaper that the market of Ukraine and the CIS countries accounts for 40% of the total sales of the company.

Source - Ukrainian Journal
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