IRON and STEEL
Outokumpu expects stainless steel deliveries to slow in the fourth quarter amid import pressure in Europe and seasonal slowdowns in the US.
The Finnish-based stainless steel producer projected fourth quarter deliveries to fall below the 533,000 metric tons (t) in the third quarter. Deliveries in the third quarter were down by 8pc from 582,000t a year earlier.
European deliveries decreased to 356,000t from 369,000t a year earlier. Deliveries in the Americas fell by 19pc to 154,000t. Ferro-chrome production rose to 131,000t compared to 127,000t a year earlier.
Total revenues for the quarter declined by 8pc to €1.59bn ($1.77bn). The company lost €27mn in the third quarter, reversing a €29mn profit in the third quarter of 2018.
Outokumpu highlighted fewer deliveries, including a 30pc drop in long products, and weaker prices in Europe for the decline. Although not yet having an impact, new safeguard measures introduced in October, are projected to support the market as import quotas get filled.
Sales in Europe edged down to €1bn from €1.03bn a year earlier. European stainless demand was down by 4pc, exacerbated by a 4pc point rise in the share of imported cold-rolled stainless to 34pc.
In the Americas, sales slipped by 28pc to €337mn. Real demand remained flat, but apparent demand was down because of distributor destocking, according to the company.
Sales of ferro-chrome declined to €104mn from €137mn a year earlier as the ferro-chrome benchmark declined by $0.34/lb from a year earlier, even as costs for coke eased.