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MMK Reports Surge in Production & Sales in Apr-Jun Quarter

Russian steel maker PJSC Magnitogorsk Iron & Steel Works announced that its pig iron output in April-June 2021 quarter increased by 2.6% QoQ to 2.640 million tonnes, driven by the increase in productivity of blast furnaces amid continuing high steel demand while steel output grew 3.1% QoQ to 3,401 million tonnes, reflecting favourable market conditions. MMK Group’s sales of steel products totalled 3.320 million tonnes, up 14.3% QoQ, driven by high steel demand. Sales of the Group's premium products were up 20.6% QoQ to 1,392 million tonnes, driven by seasonal growth in demand.

In Russia, demand for rolled steel in Q2 2021 stayed high, supported by the continuing recovery of the Russian economy after the recession of 2020. During the first five months of 2021, apparent steel use of rolled steel in Russia grew 6.5% YoY, with May figures up as high as 35.9% YoY. The growing seasonal demand in the construction industry, ongoing national projects and easing of pandemic-related restrictions were the key drivers for the Russian steel products market in Q2 2021.

Average selling prices for Q2 2021 grew by 32.4% QoQ to USD 944 per tonne, driven by an upward trend in global prices for metal products amid continued global supply constraints. In H1 2021, prices grew by 49.3% YoY to USD 836 per tonne, driven by favourable market dynamics amid last year’s low base.

Source - Strategic Research Institute
Sheffield MP Mr Blomfield Calls for Green Steel Making in UK

The Star reported that Sheffield Central’s Member of Parliament Mr Paul Blomfield has urged UK’s Minister for Climate Change Ms Anne Marie Trevelya to back the pilots as a greener way of manufacturing steel ahead of the COP26, the United Nations’ Climate Change Conference, in November. In a Parliamentary debate titled economic recovery from Covid-19: climate action, Mr Blomfield said: “The success of the UK Presidency requires leadership at home. The Government has pledged to consider the Climate Change Committee’s recommendation for near zero-emission iron-ore steelmaking by 2035, but a plan for decarbonising steel production must be published before COP26. Hydrogen is among the emerging technologies offering solutions and its use is progressing across the rest of Europe. The Energy and Climate Intelligence Unit recently reported on 23 pilot projects planned or live across several countries producing 10 million tonnes of clean steel annually by 2026. Can the Minister say whether the Government is considering hydrogen-based pilots as part of its plan for steel?”

Mr Blomfield said: “To make the ‘rapid, unprecedented and far-reaching transitions‘that the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change recommended, Government has to work with industry to create greener manufacturing, we need investment in practical solutions which reduce our carbon footprint, not just tokenistic gestures. We are already behind the rest of Europe on transforming steel production and so I’m disappointed that the Minister failed to take the opportunity to commit to green steel pilots in the UK. This lack of leadership threatens our credibility at COP26.”

Ms Trevelyan said the government would soon publish its hydrogen strategy which will set out in detail the government’s plans as well as a GBP 250 million und for pilot projects but did not commit to UK pilots for steelmaking.

It follows scientists at the University of Sheffield and Leeds securing GBP 1.26 million funding to explore new technology and ways to decarbonise the steel industry within 30 years and Sheffield’s Liberty Steel is already working on a hydrogen steel plant in France which, if developed, would be one of the first of its type in the country.

Source - Strategic Research Institute
Association Denies Steel Price Agreement with Brazil Government

After Brazilian Economy Minister Mr Paulo Guedes announced that Brazilian steelmakers had pledged not to raise steel prices until the end of the year, Brazil’s Steel Association Aço Brasil denied that the sector has made agreements in this regard, even if informally. Aço Brasil's president Mr Marco Pollo de Mello Lopes in an interview with Valor Econômico newspaper said July 15 that “Mr Guedes suggested a price lock due to fear of inflationary pressures and complaints from the civil construction sector. Due to compliance, competition and trade policies specific to each company, we could not sign this commitment. During the meetings with the minister it was mentioned that rising raw materials costs such as iron ore, scrap and met coal were the reason for the adjustments in steel prices in Brazil and in the world but have now showed some signs of stabilization. Steel supply in Brazil has balanced, with higher availability from local mills and a strong increase in imports. Brazilian steelmakers are operating near 75% of installed capacity and reducing exports.”

Valor Econômico newspaper report quoted Mr Guedes as saying that he was trying to reduce the imports tariff over certain undisclosed steel products to help several industry segments in Brazil. The minister said he would like to make this cut tomorrow but that some Mercosur ties would delay what he considered ideal, which would be a generalized drop in tariffs in the country, not just for steel. He added “An attempt to reduce the tariff from 12% to 10.8% for steel was blocked by Argentina.”

Year to date the Brazilian domestic rebar price has risen 37% and has increased 154% in the past 12 months

Companies associated with the Instituto Aço Brasil include

1. Aco Verde do Brasil

2. Aperam

3. ArcelorMittal

4. CSP

5. Gerdau

6. Sinobras

7. Ternium

8. Usiminas

9. Vallourec

10. Villares Metals

Source - Strategic Research Institute
Danieli Q Segments & Moulds for AMNS India & SAIL BSP Slab Casters

Indian steel producers ArcelorMittal Nippon Steel India and Steel Authority of India Limited’s Bhilai Steel Plant have selected Danieli Service India for capital spares and upgrades of their slab casters.

The supply for the four projects awarded by ArcelorMittal Nippon Steel India over the last few months consists of reverse engineering performed on its slab caster located at Hazira plant for one mould, three segments and five bare segments, and the manufacturing of 190 tonnes of new equipment. ArcelorMittal Nippon Steel India also will be assisted by Danieli Service team during the installation, which is planned by September 2021.

After many years of operation of its Danieli slab caster, SAIL Bhilai contracted Danieli Service India to supply one new top-zone and one new bender unit, due to the existing components having reached the end of their service life. The ordered parts, which weight a total of 40 tonnes, will be subject to engineering upgrades that will reduce maintenance costs and extend life-time. This order followed the one for four, upgraded Danieli segments for the same caster. The ordered segments have been delivered and put in operation with assistance from Danieli Service team at SAIL Bhilai.

Located in Sri City in the state of Andhra Pradesh, the Danieli India design and manufacturing center is serving metal producers in the Indian subcontinent. Danieli India is a premium partner in the “Atmanirbhar Bharat” project driven by the Indian government to make a “self-reliant India”.

Source - Strategic Research Institute
India Drops AD Duty Recommendations for Flat Stainless Steel

Indian government has decided not to impose anti-dumping duty on imports of flat rolled products of stainless steel from from China PR, Korea RP, European Union, Japan, Taiwan, Indonesia, USA, Thailand, South Africa, UAE, Hong Kong, Singapore, Mexico, Vietnam and Malaysia. The commerce ministry’s investigation arm Directorate General of Trade Remedies in December 2020 had recommended imposition of the duty for five years on the product after concluding in a probe that domestic industry is impacted due to dumping of the goods from these countries. The Directorate General of Trade Remedies had suggested the duty in the range of USD 67 per tonne to USD 944 per tonne.

South Korea – USD 67-370 per tonne

Japan – USD 116-374 per tonne

EU – USD 592-944 per tonne, Nil for Outokumpu

Malaysia – USD 234-474 per tonne

China – USD 454 per tonne

Taiwan – USD 336 per tonne

Indonesia – USD 167-441 per tonne

DGTR had opened probe on apllicaion from Indian Stainless Steel Development Association, Jindal Stainless Limited, Jindal Stainless (Hisar) Limited and Jindal Stainless Steelway Limited

The product under consideration was Flat Rolled Products or Stainless Steel excluding the following

1. Hot rolled stainless steel of 304 grade and width upto 1650mm (with permissible tolerances) from China PR, Malaysia and Korea RP, wherein antidumping duty was recommended vide notification no 14/30/2013-DGAD, dated 9th March, 2015 and imposed vide customs notification no. 28/2015-Customs (ADD) dated 5th June, 2015

2. Cold rolled stainless steel flats of 600 mm and above from China PR, Korea RP, EU, USA, Taiwan, Thailand, South Africa, except cold rolled stainless steel of more than 1250 mm having bonafide use wherein anti-dumping duty was recommended and imposed vide customs notification no. 14/2010-Customs, dated 20th February, 2010

3. Blade Steel, also commercially known as razor blade grade steel used in production of razor.

4. Coin blank falling under 73269099 HS Code used in production of monetary coins.

5. Flat Rolled Products of Stainless Steel of width more than 1650 MM having bonafide use as more than 1650 MM.

6. Flat Rolled Products of Stainless Steel of thickness greater than 80 MM.

7. Flat Rolled Products of Stainless Steel of grades'types JFE20-5USR, JFE18-3USR NASJ35X (N08020), & NAS.800 (N08810 N08811), N10276, N06022, N06625, N08825, N06601 and N06600

8. Product supplied under Indian Patent No. 223848 in respect of goods comprising Low Nickel containing Chromium-Nickel Manganese-Copper Austenitic Stainless steel and representing Grades YU 1 and YU 4, produced and supplied by Yieh United Steel Corp (Yusco) of Chinese Taipei (Taiwan).

9. Grade S-Star, S-Star A and G Star, (b) DSN-9 and (c) K.-SF24 grade exported from Daido Steel Co. Ltd.

10. Nickel-based alloys grades such as N10276. N06022, N06625, N08825, N06601 and N06600.

Source - Strategic Research Institute
5 Firms Were Interested in Special Steel Plant COS Târgovi?te reported that five potential investors have expressed interest in the industrial functional asset of the Special Steel Plant COS Târgovi?te in Romania, which has been in insolvency for almost 8 years and is now facing bankruptcy.

1. AFV Beltrame Group

2. Techcom GmbH

3. Sunningwell International of Poland

4. Liberty Steel

5. Aygunsan Demir Celik

Ii entered bankruptcy after the local court overruled its reorganization plan proposed by creditor Alphard Financial. The court rejected the exception of inadmissibility of the bankruptcy application, a request made by the electricity supplier and ordered the commencement of the bankruptcy procedure. The ruling is not final. The next deadline to continue the procedure is October 19. COS Târgoviste announced that it would appeal against the sentence, including for the suspension of the execution of the syndic judge's decision until the appeal is resolved.

Bursa Electrica’s Distributie Energie Electrica România had filed an application with the court bankruptcy of the Special Steel Plant COS Târgovi?te for a current outstanding debt, accumulated after the plant went into insolvency, of over 3 million. The bankruptcy of COS Târgovi?te was also requested by the raw material supplier Uni Steel Impex SRL from Bucharest, a distributor of ferroalloys and non-ferrous metals controlled by Mirabela Fili?an and Adrian Popa

The creditors' meeting of COS Târgovi?te recently approved the proposal to complete the reorganization plan of the company submitted to the court by the largest creditor, the offshore with unknown shareholding Alphard Financial Corp. from the British Virgin Islands, which holds total receivables of almost 254 million lei on the plant, an amendment that provides for the urgent start of the procedure for sale by public auction of the functional asset COS Targoviste by transfer of assets activity. The amount collected from the sale will be used for the payment of budget debts to ANAF, in the amount of over 200 million lei.

COS Târgovi?te was owned by the Russian group Mechel, but the majority stake was taken over in 2013 by the offshore Mazur Investments Ltd in Cyprus, which has 86% of the capital. The Romanian state holds 4%.

Source - Strategic Research Institute
Baowu Steel Aiming to Cross 150 Million Tonnes Steel Capacity

Chinese media had reported in January that China’s seventh-biggest steelmaker Shandong Iron and Steel Group with 31.11 million tonnes would merge into Baowu Steel Group to increase steel production capacity to 155 million tonnes per year. Shandong Iron and Steel Co Ltd informed Shanghai Stock Exchange on 14 July 2021 that “The state assets regulator of eastern China’s Shandong province was working with Baowu on a strategic restructuring of parent company Shandong Iron and Steel Group. This matter may lead to a change in the company’s controlling shareholder and actual controller.”

Evolution of Baowu Steel Group

In 1978, as part of the Chinese government's reform and opening, Chinese paramount leader Deng Xiaoping sought to develop large-scale steel production in China. The government planned for a large integrated steel production facility to be located near the port of Shanghai in Baoshan District, a suburb of Shanghai.

In1998, the former Baoshan Iron and Steel (Group) Corporation absorbed the Shanghai Metallurgical Holding Group Corporation and the Shanghai Meishan Group to form Shanghai Baosteel Group Corporation. The new conglomerate was the largest steel producer in the country with annual steel production of nearly 20 million tonnes.

In 2004, the listed subsidiary acquired Meishan Iron and Steel from Baosteel Group via Shanghai Meishan Group.

In 2007 Baosteel Group acquired the majority stake of Xinjiang Ba Yi Iron and Steel Group, which was the parent company of Ba Yi Iron and Steel.

In 2011, Baosteel Group acquired 51% stake of Guangdong Shaoguan Iron and Steel Group

Baowu Steel Group was formed with the merger of Baosteel and Wisco in 2016 that gave it a capacity of 59 million tonnes per year. Its 2019 acquisition of Maanshan Iron and Steel raised its capacity to 90 million tonnes per year.

In 2019, China Baowu Steel Group acquired 51% stake of Masteel Group from of Anhui Provincial People's Government

Baowu completed its acquisition of the 10 million tonnes per year Kunming in 2021.

Major Subsidiaries & Steel plants

Baoshan Iron and Steel

Shanghai First Iron and Steel Co Ltd

Shanghai Second Iron and Steel Co Ltd

Shanghai Pudong Iron and Steel Co Ltd

Shanghai Fifth Iron and Steel Co Ltd

Guangxi Iron and Steel Group

Wuhan Iron and Steel Company

Zhanjiang Iron and Steel

Shanghai Meishan Iron and Steel - 77%

Guangdong Shaoguan Iron and Steel - 51%

SGIS Songshan Co Ltd - 53%

Xinjiang Ba Yi Iron and Steel Group - 77%

Xinjiang Ba Yi Iron and Steel - 50%

Source - Strategic Research Institute
BIS Standards Wreak Havoc in Metal Packaging Industry in India

India’s tin can making industry association Metal Container Manufacturers Association has urged the government to drop the steel and steel products quality control order for now, issued by the Ministry of Steel to impose mandatory BIS certification. The government had issued the order on July 17, 2020, pushing units for BIS certification for the major input material required such as tinplate, tin-free steel, and had also imposed restrictions on various steel products like easy-open ends, peel off ends etc. MCMA said “Considering Covid-19 situation with restriction on movements in and out of the country including International travel, MCMA recommends to defer this notification till March 2022. It is virtually impossible to force the international suppliers for BIS certifications as the procedure of BIS registration is highly cumbersome.”

MCMA said “In the wake of acute shortage of tinplate& tin free steel material which is largely used to manufacture cans and containers to pack processed food and fruits, the processed food packaging industry is feeling a pinch. The small players who are into the business of packaging fruits and other processed food have lamented that the government is not able to meet the demand for tin cans and containers.”

Indian tin can makers face a significant demand-supply gap for the major raw material, which is tinplate & tin-free steel to the extent of 250,000 tonnes per annum, which is met through imports. According to MCMA, Indian domestic steel mills claim to have an annual rated capacity of about 700,000 tonnes but they have never been able to produce more than 400,000-450,000 tonnes. Tin-free steel is produced only by one mill which is Tin Plate Company, and that too once a quarter; hence they are never able to meet regular monthly & seasonal demand of the industry. Problem is about the demand versus supply gap. The gap also includes the material used for non-critical products which have been filled from imports.

Source - Strategic Research Institute
South Korean Shipbuilders to Face Earnings Shock in Q2

Yonhap reported that South Korean shipbuilders are forecast to report sluggish earnings in the second quarter of the year due to a sharp rise in prices of steel plates despite brisk orders. The cost of steel plates takes up about 20% of the overall expense of the ship construction. A hike in prices of raw materials, including steel plates, will eat into leading shipbuilders' profits in the second quarter.

South Korea's leading steelmaker POSCO has raised the prices of steel plates for ships to KWR 1.15 million per tonne (USD 1,000), up nearly two times from a year ago.

The leading local shipbuilders Korea Shipbuilding & Offshore Engineering Co (Hyundai Heavy Industries Co, Hyundai Samho Heavy Industries Co and Hyundai Mipo Dockyard Co), Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering Co and Samsung Heavy Industries Co have bagged better-than-expected new orders in the January-June period.

Source - Strategic Research Institute
AMNS India CEO Expects Indian Steel Demand to Recover

ArcelorMittal Nippon Steel India CEO Mr Dilip Oommen during the “India Focus” segment on “Bloomberg Markets: Asia” discussed the impact the pandemic had on his business, steel demand and the company’s expansion plans. He said “The steel demand is expected to revive. It stood higher in June this year, compared with May. The auto sales in the country witnessed 147% year-on-year growth in June, suggesting strong recovery in auto sector, which in turn should augur well for the steel sector.”

He said “The decarbonisation drive in China is likely to impact steel production in that country. Incidentally, the Chinese steel production is projected to remain flat in 2021. The increased production during the initial half of the current year will be balanced by reduced output in H2. Also, there have been no structural changes to suggest that steel prices will come down from current levels.”

Source - Strategic Research Institute
Hyundai Steel Nickel Steel Plates for LNG Cryogenic Tanks in Ships

Korea IT Times reported that Hyundai Steel will set up a production system for 9% Ni steel plates that can withstand cryogenic temperatures. The 9% Ni steel, which Hyundai Steel completed development in December last year, is widely used as a material for LNG storage facilities due to its excellent resistance to shocks even in cryogenic environments and excellent welding performance. LNG has recently seen a surge in demand due to its significantly lower emissions of pollutants than conventional diesel fuels. However, if LNG is used as fuel for ships, there are technical restrictions such as keeping the inside of the storage facility below minus 165 degrees Celsius.

Hyundai Steel signed a 9% Ni steel contract with Hyundai Heavy Industries in February for fuel tanks for LNG-powered super-large container ships under construction and has been supplying products since June. The supply amount is two LNG-powered super-large container ships, 2,100 tonnes. Before supplying, it has been developing products through two-way Early Vendor Investment activities such as conducting quality evaluation meetings with customers and reflecting customer quality requirements in production.

Starting with this order, Hyundai Steel plans to actively target LNG-related markets such as LNG plants and land storage tanks used in LNG terminals as well as LNG propulsion tank fuel tanks.

Source - Strategic Research Institute
Ludhiana Induction Furnace Steel Mills Seek Steel Price Regulator

Times of India reported that Ludhiana based steel furnace industry representatives met the new Steel Minister Mr Ramchandra Prasad Singh at his office in New Delhi recently and discussed issues being faced by the industry especially the factories located in Punjab including setting up of a steel regulatory authority, which should monitor rates of steel raw material and take action against the persons involved in artificial hike in the rates of steel. Induction Furnace Association of North India President Mr KK Garg said “We met the Union steel minister Ramchandra Prasad Singh today along with welcoming him for assuming the charge of the ministry. We also discussed the problems being faced by businessmen, specially those belonging to the secondary steel sector. We also apprised him about the issue of rising prices of steel raw material in the country and other hardships being faced by industrialists like increasing rates of power, shortage of industrial grade oxygen gas and dropping sales. The minister gave us a patient hearing and also assured that our problems will be considered by him and after discussing with the officials concerned the solutions too will be provided at the earliest.’’

Sewing Machine Development Club President Mr Jagbir Singh Sokhi said, “It is our request to the new Union minister for steel that the first and foremost step he should take for the welfare of industry is to setup a steel prices regulator to keep a check on the rates of steel, which are being artificially inflated by some entities who for their greed are hurting the micro small and medium enterprises. The regulator must also have the powers to take strict action against the steel producer, distributor, middle man and everyone who is engaged in the sale and purchase of the steel raw material, as this is the only way the situation can be countered."

Source - Strategic Research Institute
Baowu Steel Group Plans CNY 50 Billion Carbon Neutral Fund

Reuters reported China Baowu Steel Group has signed an agreement with partners to set up a carbon neutral fund, targeting a total investment of CNY 50 billion (USD 7.7 billion). Founded along with companies including the China Pacific Insurance and National Green Development Fund, the fund would have an initial investment of CNY 10 billion yuan. Baowu said “The equity fund will focus on clean energy, green technology, environmental protection and pollution controls. It would also explore high-quality projects in areas with clean energy such as wind and solar.”

The second phase of the fund is being planned with a Bank of China subsidiary.

Source - Strategic Research Institute
EU CBAM to Impact South Korean Steel Makers

Business Korea reported that South Korean steel industry is likely to be most affected by the European Union’s Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism. EY Hanyoung Korea pointed out in its recent report that the steel industry’s carbon border tax burden will amount to more than USD 141.9 million in 2023 if the European Union imposes a carbon border tax of USD 30.6 per ton that year. It said “The carbon border tax-to-exports ratio for 2023 is estimated at 5%. If the tax goes up to USD 75 per tonne in 2030, the tax burden and the ratio will reach USD347.7 million and 12.3%, respectively.”

According to the Korea International Trade Association, South Korea’s steel exports to the European Union were USD 1,523 million and over 2.21 million tonnes last year.

The Korea Institute for International Economic Policy also explained that South Korea’ steel product exports will undergo a decline of 11.7% if the tax is imposed on nonmetallic mineral and primary steel products.

Source - Strategic Research Institute
US Steel Shipments in May Up 46% YoY

The American Iron and Steel Institute reported that for the month of May 2021, US steel mills shipped 7,987,038 net tons, a 46.2 percent increase from the 5,461,851 net tons shipped in May 2020. Shipments were up 1.8 percent from the 7,845,008 net tons shipped in the previous month, April 2021. Shipments year-to-date in 2021 is 37,938,360 net tons, a 7.8 percent increase vs. 2020 shipments of 35,194,683 for five months.

A comparison of shipments year-to-date in 2021 to the first five months of 2020 shows the following changes: cold rolled sheet, up 3 percent, hot rolled sheet, up 1 percent, and hot dipped galvanized sheet, up 1 percent.

Source - Strategic Research Institute
Shell Brasil & Gerdau to Build Solar Power Plant in Minas Gerais

Shell Brasil and Gerdau have signed a cooperation agreement for the development of a photovoltaic park in the municipality of Brasilândia de Minas in north of Minas Gerais. The term establishes the premises for discussing and setting up a joint venture. With an installed capacity of 190MWdc, the Aquarii park will supply part of the clean energy to Gerdau's steel production units and another part to be traded on the free market through Shell's energy trading company, as of 2024.

The joint venture, which will have equal participation by the two companies, is part of the energy transition and decarbonization strategy of both. This is Shell Brasil's voluntary step in offering more renewable and sustainable energy products and services, in full alignment with Gerdau's quest for a cleaner energy matrix. Aquarii will also sell energy to free consumers, helping to increase the generation park in the state of Minas Gerais and contributing to the region's energy security with more renewable energy.

About three years ago, Shell Brasil began its strategy of organically developing its portfolio in solar energy generation, which in the energy area are added to the investments in its energy trader, Shell Energy Brasil, and in the Marlim Azul thermoelectric plant. Today, the company has plans to develop solar parks in the states of Minas Gerais and Paraíba. At the same time, this is yet another step by Gerdau towards energy self-sufficiency, together with the strategic direction of entry into the renewable energy generation segment, part of the portfolio of new businesses carried out through Gerdau Next.

Source - Strategic Research Institute
Daimler Honours Steel Supplier Big River Steel for Sustainability

Daimler AG and Mercedes-Benz AG have honoured the American steel supplier Big River Steel for the exceptionally sustainable production of steel. By using recycled steel scrap and renewable energy, Big River Steel is able to reduce the CO2 emissions for Mercedes-Benz products in steel manufacturing by more than 70% compared to the traditional blast furnace route. In addition, the partner has set up a closed cycle in which the sheet-steel offcuts generated during production are fully recycled. The Big River Steel plant in Osceola, Arkansas, is the first steel production facility to achieve LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification. Steel is a core component in vehicle construction and is very energy-intensive to produce.

Other nominees were:

Pöppelmann – The medium-sized plastics processing company from Germany is working intensively on the development of a sustainable material loop and a 100% post-consumer recyclate that meets high quality standards. In addition, the moulding technique saves 10% weight during production, making plastic more sustainable as a lightweight material.

Sansera – The Indian supplier achieved significant CO2 savings through a partial switch to solar and wind energy. In addition, the company has carried out numerous projects to protect the environment at its site. This commitment is also particularly noteworthy because companies in India can take advantage of longer implementation periods with respect to the Paris Climate Agreement. Sansera is already working systematically towards early achievement of these goals.

Source - Strategic Research Institute
Grupo Simec Reports Strong Results for H1 of 2021

Mexican steel maker Grupo Simec announced that its net sales increased from MXN 16,096 million in the first half of 2020 to MXN 28,613 million in the first half of 2021 as shipments increased 18% from 1.162 million tonnes in the first half of 2020 to 1.369 million tonnes in the first half of 2021.

Total sales outside of Mexico in the first half of 2021 increased 77% to MXN 14,458 million compared to MXN. 8,168 million in the first half of 2020. Mexican sales increased 79% from MXN 7,928 million in the first half of 2020 to MXN 14,155 million in the first half of 2021. Sales increased for the first half of 2021 compared to the first half of 2020, is due to the combined of increase in the average sales price of 51% and increase in the volume of shipments approximately of 207 thousand tons that represent an 18%.

Operating income increased 202% from MXN 2,216 million for the first half of 2020 compared to MXN 6,690 million in the first half of 2021.

Source - Strategic Research Institute
Russula & Petuum to Bring Industrial AI Software to Steel Industry

Russula announced in June 2021 that it has formed a strategic partnership with Petuum to provide Industry 4.0 manufacturing initiatives with revolutionary Deep Learning Optimization technology for steel manufacturing. Petuum and Russula are set to integrate Petuum’s award-winning Optimum AI software platform with Russula’s established Rolling Mill Control to enable steel AI for greater product throughput to tackle increased demand while reducing carbon emissions through better energy utilization.

This partnership between Russula and Petuum brings together top-notch engineering implementation with state-of-the-art AI software for steel manufacturing. As the steel industry moves towards an emissions free future and fully autonomous plants, Russula believe the co-developed solutions with Petuum is the path forward to develop the next generation of rolling mills. We look forward to collaborating with Petuum to unlock the potential of Artificial Intelligence in steel mills.

Russula and Petuum will be working with large global steel manufacturers to leverage Petuum’s Optimum SaaS offering to provide prescient predictions across multiple use cases, starting with hot rolling mills. Optimum is cloud-native and built to seamlessly handle data management, advanced AI/ML model training, human-machine interface and rapid deployment across multiple sites. Through this partnership, Russula and Petuum are advancing Deep Learning Optimization to increase throughput, improve quality control, and lower energy consumption for steel manufactures at scale.

Petuum’s award-winning Industrial AI product, Petuum Optimum, delivers precise real-time forecasts for key process variables, prescriptive optimal targets for critical variables, and AI-led automation control. Petuum Optimum uses ground-breaking adaptive machine and deep learning AI software that can continuously re-learn and improve production output and quality control in supervised or fully autonomous steer modes.

Source - Strategic Research Institute
Tenaris Deploys Hydraulic Fracturing Operations in Vaca Muerta

Tenaris is now performing hydraulic fracturing operations, a first for the company, in the Vaca Muerta formation, the world's second largest reservoir for shale gas and fourth for shale oil in Argentina. With this milestone, Tenaris is expanding its offer of services to customers in the region. As of June, 90 fractures have been completed in three wells with very good efficiency indicators, accompanying the increase of production levels in Fortín de Piedra’s unconventional gas field, operated by Tecpetrol. The set up was achieved in record time following the acquisition of hydraulic fracturing, coiled tubing and wireline equipment from Baker Hughes Argentina this March.

Tenaris President for the Southern Cone Mr Javier Martínez Álvarez said “This is a key project, not only because it expands our participation in the onshore non-conventional services sector and particularly for the Vaca Muerta shale play, but it also demonstrates Tenaris's ability to continue offering innovation and synergies in the energy industry.”

Source - Strategic Research Institute
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