Generating at its peak 13 per cent of Serbia’s export earnings, Zelezara Smederevo steel mill on the banks of the Danube is a symbol of the supposed glory days of Serbian industry.
So when the plant’s government owners restarted one of its two furnaces on April 22 after nine months of inactivity, it seemed to bode well for Serbia’s manufacturing sector – and the rest of the country’s economy, which slipped back into recession last year. But the uneconomical mill’s future will be dependent on finding foreign investors, and reliable customers for its output. Continue reading »
Anglo American may have passed on this one, but Nippon are up for it. Japan’s largest steel company, Nippon Steel and Suminato Metal Corp, was given the go-ahead on Thursday to develop the Revuboè coal project in Mozambique’s Tete province. It now hopes to begin production by 2016, nestled in among other major extractors in one of the world’s most important new mining regions.
The announcement comes little over a week after the London-listed mining giant, Anglo American, said it had dropped plans to acquire a $555m majority stake in the Revuboè venture, which is situated adjacent to Vale’s Moatize mine and Rio Tinto’s Zambezi and Benga mines. Continue reading »
Severstal on Tuesday kicked off the reporting season for Russian steel makers with a bit of a whimper, posting its worst quarterly results for more than three years.
The metals and mining group controlled by billionaire Russian tycoon Alexey Mordashov suffered a net loss of $150m in Oct-Dec 2012, as falling steel demand and prices weighed on the sector. Continue reading »
Not so long ago, everything he touched turned to gold. Now Eike Batista’s bad luck seems to be contagious.
Anglo American’s $4bn writedown on Minas-Rio in Brazil comes about five years after it bought the cursed iron ore project from Eike in two transactions totalling $5.1bn. Continue reading »
It’s been a(nother) tough week for CSA, ThyssenKrupp’s vast Brazilian steel mill.
Rio de Janeiro’s city council ordered the company on Monday to halt operations at the iron and steel plant just outside the city. Apparently, they did not have all the correct licences. If CSA did not comply with the order, the council said, they would have to pay a fine of R$570.65 ($280.28) per day.
That’s not great news for any company, especially CSA. Continue reading »
Shares in JSW Steel closed down 2.76 per cent on Wednesday on news that India’s Central Bureau of Investigation had named the company’s chairman, along with other executives, among people accused of involvement in illegal iron ore mining that precipitated a ban on mining in the southern state of Karnataka.
The allegations relate to the political-business nexus that’s all too familiar to Indians, especially after a recent spate of graft scandal revelations, and involved the usual allegations of purchasing land at inflated prices, bribery and various forms of illicit political donations. Continue reading »
It’s rare to see an Argentine business leader openly criticise a government with a reputation for bearing grudges.
But Paolo Rocca, CEO of steel giant Techint, did just that this week, slamming what he saw as Argentina’s declining competitiveness and criticising the government for having “lost its way”. The government’s response was swift, and sharp. Continue reading »
Evraz, Russia’s largest steelmaker, on Thursday reported a $50m net loss for the six months to the end of June and a 28 per cent decline in ebitda to $1.2bn on a 9.1 per cent drop in revenues to $7.6bn.
With the global steel market in the doldrums, the results came as little surprise, especially after rivals NLMK and Severstal reported their numbers in the last few days. But all three Russian producers are benefiting from reasonably strong infrastructure spending in Russia, not least on the railways. While life is tough, it’s much tougher elsewhere in Europe. Continue reading »
Few things are as closely linked to the health of the Chinese economy as steel. It goes in skyscrapers, railways, cars, bridges, household appliances – just about everything that makes an economy run.
So when Chinese steel prices sink, they carry a stark economic message. On Tuesday, the world’s most traded steel futures contract – the Shanghai rebar future – hit its 2012 low, with the most-traded January contract reaching Rmb3,848 per tonne, the lowest price the since the rebar future was launched in early 2009. Continue reading »
Russian steel producers have been shielded from the problems besetting their European competitors thanks to their relatively low costs of labour, energy and raw materials.
But a decision by Novolipetsk Steel to idle one of its blast furnaces is a sign that the economic turmoil in Europe is ﬁnally reaching deep into Russia’s industrial heartlands. Continue reading »
Minority shareholders in Russia have generally a hard time getting their voices heard. So it’s interesting to say the least that the owner of a miniscule stake in Magnitogorsk Metallurgical Combine has succeeded in derailing the Russian steelmaker’s plan to expand internationally and take over Flinders Mines, the Australian iron ore miner. Continue reading »
Russian steelmakers may have bounced back from the 2008 financial meltdown, but one appears to be heading into fresh trouble as a new wave of the crisis envelops Europe.
Novolipetsk Steel, Russia’s fourth biggest steel producer, said the deterioration in the global steel market and a 20 per cent rise in costs at its Russian operations caused a drop in earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization in the fourth quarter of the year. Ebitda declined to $383m from $478m in the previous quarter. Continue reading »