Steel Prices Look Unsustainable, Says Evraz – Commodity Commentary
Evraz PLC announced Thursday that its net profit more than doubled in the first half, reflecting rising steel prices. Here’s what the steelmaker had to say:
“EVRAZ achieved EBITDA of US $ 2.1 billion, up 94% year-over-year and a half-yearly record for the past decade.
“Higher selling prices for steel, vanadium and coal products, as well as our cost reduction and productivity improvement initiatives and customer focus efforts have contributed to this. “
“In the first half of 2021, EVRAZ maintained healthy market shares for key products in Russia: 69% for beams, 40% for structural products, 32% for railway wheels and 96% for rails. “
“In the Coal segment, EVRAZ sold 5.2 million tonnes of coal concentrate to third parties during the period considered, i.e. 5.5% more than in the first half of 2020 thanks to higher extraction volumes important and better logistical efforts.
However, the overall sales volumes of coal products declined 0.7 million tonnes year-on-year as further efforts to sell raw coal inventories in anticipation of a further decline in prices resulted in sales of raw coal higher than usual in the first half of 2020. “
“In North America, OCTG and small diameter product sales in the first half of 2021 were 26% lower year-on-year than in the first half of 2020 as Calgary factories and Pueblo seamless operations remained inactive for most of the reporting period.
“However, amid higher drilling volumes, rising oil prices and active replenishment of customers in North America, both plants restarted at the end of the first half of 2021, ahead of schedule.”
“In the vanadium sector, EVRAZ has maintained its position as a key and reliable supplier, covering the growing demand from the steel industry in Europe, America and Asia.
On the outlook for the steel market:
“In the first half of 2021, the continued influx of monetary and fiscal stimulus has helped the global economy continue to recover from the pandemic. Steel mills increased production in anticipation of stronger demand from the construction and manufacturing sectors. At the same time, the demand for steel has exceeded the supply. . “
“Against this backdrop, steel prices continued to soar to multi-year highs despite relatively high commodity prices.”
“Overall, in the first half of 2021, global crude steel production grew 14% year-on-year and returned to pre-pandemic levels. This was mainly due to countries outside of China, where the steel production grew 18% year-on-year. “
“Steel prices appear unsustainable at current levels and there is a possibility of a gradual decline in prices in the months to come.”
On the outlook for the coal market:
“At the end of the first half of 2021, coking coal prices hit new highs due to strong demand as part of the global economic recovery.”
“Hard Coking Coal (HCC) prices reached 200 USD / t (FOB Australia), compared to an average of 141 USD / t in the first half of 2020.”
“China’s ban on coal imports from Australia has disrupted its import demand and reorganized trade flows, increasing price volatility.”
“In addition, news of a suspension of coal mining operations in some areas and mining audits has pushed up prices for coking coal in the domestic market.”
Overall, coking coal prices are expected to remain high in 2021 amid tight supply and healthy demand. Due to China’s ongoing import ban, its domestic coal prices could stay well above the Australian benchmark. “
On the outlook for the iron ore market:
“Iron ore prices averaged close to US $ 200 / t during the reporting period and set a new record in early May. “
“Strong demand from China, weak supply and a favorable macroeconomic environment have led to the upward trend.”
“The offer was unable to meet the high prices.”
“Iron ore prices could remain high until the end of 2021.”
On the outlook for the vanadium market:
“Stronger global demand, along with shipping delays and lower production caused by equipment maintenance at several large producers, pushed the prices of rail-nanadium to around US $ 39 / kgV in Europe in June.”
“Overall, the market is expected to be fairly balanced over the medium term, subject to continued recovery in demand in key industries.”
Write to Jaime Llinares Taboada at [email protected]; @JaimeLlinaresT