Thursday, August 31, 2006

Oversupply of North American stainless steel?

MEPS today report about a potential medium-term oversupply position for North American stainless steels. ThyssenKrupp's recently announced project to build a new stainless steel plant in the US has caused quite some stir. Although North American mills are running at close to capacity this year, the prospect of a new competitor with up to 1 million tonnes of additional capacity is thought to be giving some producers a cause for concern. Plans include melting and hot rolling for 4.5 million tonnes of carbon steel and 1 million tonnes of stainless steel.

For full report, visit

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

One billion tonnes - 27th October 2006?

The latest forecast by MEPS (International) Ltd for global output of steel in 2006 is 1215 million tonnes. By our calculations, that means that the billionth tonne in 2006 will be made on Friday 27th October.

For original article, visit

Sunday, August 13, 2006

POSCO shipbuilding acquisition?

As China becomes a net steel exporter, and at the same time South Korean shipbuilding orders boom, some observers suggest that the time is ripe for takeovers, such as maybe that by Posco of Daewoo Shipbuilding.

Such a move would guarantee the steelmaker downstream sales in the years to come, preventing regional steelmaking from being completely crowded out by Chinese supply.

For original news report, see Business Week.

Whilst the acquisition logic seems sound, perhaps a key question - at a time of rising prices in the shipping sector - is the price to be paid for the downstream acquisition. Targets don't come cheap in sectors facing very high growth.