Italy flat steel imports from non EU countries double in Q1
   

As announced by the Italian steel producers association Federacciai, in the Q1 2013, Italy's steel exports to non-European Union countries totaled 1.13 million metric tonne, down by 19.2%, while its steel imports from non EU sources totaled 2.053 million metric tonne, up 53.3%, both YoY. In particular, Italy's flat steel product imports from non-EU sources more than doubled in January March 2013 compared to the same period of 2012, while flat product exports to non EU destinations decreased by 36.6% and long product exports to these countries fell by 7.1, both year on year.

  ArcelorMittal Ruhrort : RH facility to receive new vacuum pump
   

After 45 years of operation of the RH facility, the steam ejector pumping system is to be renewed by SMS Mevac. ArcelorMittal Ruhrort, Duisburg, Germany, has contracted SMS Mevac GmbH to modernize the steam ejector pump system for the existing RH facility (Ruhrstahl-Heraeus process). Now that the facility has been in operation for 45 years, the wall thicknesses of the ejector system have diminished to critical values. SMS Mevac will be replacing the existing steam ejectors and condensers by new, more powerful components. With the new control system for the pump system, it will be possible to reduce steam requirements and thus energy consumption, control steel splashes and increase the pump-down speed.
SMS Mevac's supply scope comprises the mechanical components of the pump system (including engineering and control system) and supervision services during installation and commissioning. The existing RH facility had been supplied at the end of the 1960's by SMS Mevac (at that time Messo). Commissioning is scheduled for the 4th quarter of 2013.

  Aosta gets USD 6 mn order for Hong Kong and Macau
   

Aosta, Italy based steelmaker Cogne Acciai Speciali has announced it it will supply stainless steel products, mainy ribbed bar Concrinox, worth USD 6 million for the construction of a new bridge between Hong Kong and Macao. The Hong Kong-Zuhai-Macau bridge project is an ongoing construction project which consists of a series of bridges and tunnels. The 50 kilometer link between three cities is due for completion in 2015 and will open in 2016. CAS said that "Back in 2005 the company won the tender for the Hong Kong-based Stonecutters Bridge project, which is one of the longest cable-stayed bridges in the world. Moreover, the commitment of CAS in Asia is witnessed also by the Dongguan, China based subsidiary which is specialized in stainless steel bar manufacturing.”

  Ford cease making vehicles in Austrialia in 2016
   

Ford will cease making vehicles in Australia in 2016 and axe 1,200 jobs, having produced its first car in the country in 1925. Mr Bob Graziano CEO of Ford Australia made the announcement as he revealed a loss of AUD 141 million after tax in the last financial year, with losses of AUD 600 million over the last 5 years. Mr Graziano said that “Unfortunately we will cease our manufacturing operations in October 2016. As a result, approximately 1,200 jobs will become redundant when those sites close.” He said that the decision was the result of local manufacturing being driven by increasingly challenging market conditions including market fragmentation and the high cost of manufacturing.
However, the jobs will go at Ford's Broadmeadows and Geelong manufacturing plants in Victoria state, which will close. He added that “We know this announcement is very difficult, especially for our employees.” Mr Graziano said that “Providing support to those in our team whose roles will be affected is a key priority for us during this three-year transition period.” While manufacturing will stop, Ford will remain in Australia as an importer and dealer, employing some 1,500 people. Australia's auto industry is struggling with the effects of the high local dollar, which has traded near or above parity with the greenback for almost two years, squeezing exports and compounding rising production costs. Though, Australia did not go into recession during the global financial crisis, domestic confidence has failed to return to pre-crisis levels, also hitting car sales.

  US steel producers make dumping claim

After welded steel pipes and steel wire garment hangers, now welded stainless pressure pipe from Viet Nam continue to face charges of dumping in the US. The Viet Nam Competition Authority under the Ministry of Industry and Trade said that 3 US stainless pipe producers - Bristol Metals LP, Felker Brothers Corporation and Outokumpu Stainless Pipe Inc- have filed a trade petition with the US International Trade Commission and the US Commerce Department seeking to impose anti-dumping duties against welded stainless pressure pipe from Malaysia, Thailand and Viet Nam.
The filing said that in 2012, imports of steel pipe from Viet Nam amounted to 4,627 net tonnes, worth USD 16.3 million, and took 6.61% of US import market share. According to Bristol Metals, the petition alleges dumping margins of 15% to 17% for Malaysia, 13% to 15% for Thailand, and 70% to 71% for Viet Nam. Bristol Metals said that the ITC will hold a hearing on June 6 and make a preliminary determination by July 1st.
In the past 2 years, the domestic steel industry faced five anti-dumping lawsuits and two anti-subsidy ones from the US, Brazil, Thailand and Indonesia. However, US ITC announced late last year that after investigation, it found welded carbon-quality steel pipes imported from Viet Nam caused neither injury nor losses to the US steel pipe industry. Therefore, it said the US would not impose anti-dumping duties on them. Mr Tran Tuan Nghiep director of Huu Lien Asia Corporation said that a defendant in last year's lawsuit against Viet Nam welded carbon-quality steel pipes, price competition in the steel market is fierce and if Vietnamese steel is subject to more and more anti-dumping and anti-subsidy tariffs, it could lose an important market.

  Scunthorpe upset by TATA Steel Europe Criticism
   

Mr Nic Dakin MP of Scunthorpe has criticized the national media for what he claims is an attempt to talk down the prospects of TATA Steel Europe. Mr Dakin said that the firm may be seeking a partner to invest in its Scunthorpe plant have recently been reported in the national press. Mr Dakin added that he thought more should be done to recognize the company's positive actions. He said that “It is a shame the media speculation focuses on the negatives. It would be good for the media to recognize the significant investment TATA has made.” He added that “TATA has also taken on a number of apprentices - about 500 nationally. “If we look at the actions of TATA in the UK, there are a lot of positives.” He said that “However, the global position in Europe remains very difficult. However, they added to rumors Indian-owned TATA Steel could be looking to sell its European arm and slash jobs. These results come amid ongoing debate over what TATA will do over its struggling European operation. Nationally it has been reported that TATA Steel plans to seek a partner to invest in its Scunthorpe plant. Another piece claims that TATA is likely to announce further job cuts.

  Brazilian steel industry outlook negative - S&P
   

According to a report by Standard & Poor's, as globl steel oversupply is still an issue and continues to prevent steel price increases, the outlook for the steel industry in Brazil is negative.
S&P in the report said that "Brazil's steel industry has been unable to recover recent raw material cost increases, pressuring the sector's profits," adding that the lack of growth in domestic demand has also disappointed many steelmaker expectations, and several recent investments in upgrades and expansion have not fully matured.
S&P analysts affirmed they continue to expect a weak recovery in 2013, and demand for steel could grow between 2% to 4% in the year. The report said that "The Brazilian steel market enjoyed a recent increase in steel prices at the beginning of this year, following the considerable reduction in imports as a result of higher tariffs since the end of 2012, and a 15% depreciation in its currency compared to one year ago. Local steel makers expect to increase sales volumes by closer to 7%% to 8%, considering their improved competitive position, at least in the short term."
S&P added that "We have a more cautious view on recovery prospects, as we see rising risks in our base-case scenario.
Another year of flat demand for steel and rising costs at the current inflation rate of above 6% could weaken steelmakers' results again in 2013." Considering that current debt ratios are already pressured, weaker than expected market conditions might result in negative rating actions, analysts Rafaela Vitoria and Diego Ocampo said in S&P's report.

Taiwan steel scrap imports up by 3 percent in April
   

According to statistics, Taiwan imported 102,830 tonne of stainless steel products in April, up by 3% from a month ago. Among them, 84,683 tonne were hot rolled stainless steel products, rising by 10,000 tonne; 12,006 tonne were cold rolled stainless steel products, falling by 6,000 tonne, both compared to the figures in a month ago.

Danieli Centro awarded another contract in Yilan Country
   

Danieli Centro Combustion SpA has recently been awarded yet another important contract, this time in Yilan Country, Taiwan. The new order is for an 80 tonne per hour, top fired pusher furnace for installation at Lo Toun Steel & Iron Works Company, Limited, in the new 600,000 tonne per annum rebar mill complex which has been awarded to Danieli thus keeping the entire project within the Danieli Group. In order to satisfy an extremely tight erection schedule, Danieli Centro Combustion will design and manufacture the furnace casing using a prefabricated technique based on flat modules, which comes supplied lined with all the necessary refractory and insulation materials.
Mixed Gas will be used to generate the required heat load. Design and supply of this pusher furnace is expected to be achieved in approximately ten months. Danieli Centro Combustion SpA has already designed several pusher type furnaces, the most recent ones currently in the commissioning phase are a 40 tonne per hour PTF for AG-Corporacion Aceros de Guatemala–Guatemala and a 30 tonne per hour PTF for Tecpro Systems Limited–India. It is evident that Danieli Centro Combustion SpA continues the promotion of new Contracts on South East Asia area where the Company is consolidating its position in the long product market.

ArcelorMittal SA to supply 120000 tonnes of rebars to hydro projects in Zambia
   

ArcelorMittal South Africa is supplying its client, China's Sinohydro Corporation, with reinforcing steel from its Newcastle plant for a number of hydro-electrical projects across Zambia. More than 120,000 tonnes of rebar will be shipped to Zambia over the next five to seven years. ArcelorMittal is currently supplying products to the Kariba North Bank, situated at the Kariba Dam, the Ithetzi Thetzi Dam as well as transmission tower base structures from Kariba to the distribution grid. The process of supplying steel to these projects included setting up transport solutions to the project sites in Zambia and managing the unique credit risks that exist.

Zimbabwe steel industry dealt a serious blow after 17 companies in 2012
   

Zimbabwe's steel industry has been dealt a serious blow after the closure of 17 companies in the last year, with the worsening investment climate said to be further straining the situation. Mr Callisto Jokonya president of Engineering Iron and Steel Association said that companies are forced to import steel from neighboring countries. We are operating at below 10% capacity and more companies are likely to close operations in the next few months. A failure to promote new investment in the industry is also being blamed for the situation. According to Mr Obert Mpofu, the Minister of Mines and Development, after the proposal was mooted by Zimbabwe's Minister of Finance, Mr Tendai Biti, but Zimbabwe will consult with the mining industry before imposing any new taxes on the sector to help fund elections set for this year. Mr Biti said that he would consider introducing three or four taxes, including some on the mining sector.

US steel sector to remain under price pressure - Goldman Sachs
   

Goldman Sachs has lowered its 2014/2015 EPS estimates for steel producers and service centers due to lower steel price expectations. Mr Sal Tharani analyst Goldman Sachs with does not see any signs of sustainable upside to prices. He wrote “While macro data has indicated the market is improving, steel producers are still only seeing very modest increases in orders. We expect growth will continue to be slow, with private construction continuing to outpace public construction for some time.”

Peruvian Aceros new mill to start testing phase at PISCO
   

Peruvian firm Aceros Arequipa announced to begin a trial testing of its new rolling mill at its PISCO plant. The company has acquired a new hot rolling mill in April 2013 but there was no any further detail of the operation schedule to disclosure at this moment. According to company reported, the new mill will be able to increase an annual production capacity to 1.1 million tonne at its PISCO plant and an additional annual production capacity of 250,000 tonne at the steel maker's facility in Arequipa.

WTO panel to examine Japan-China steel duties dispute
   

The World Trade Organization said that its dispute settlement board had agreed to a request from Japan to create a panel to examine its dispute with China over steel duties. Japan had requested for a panel to evaluate its complaint against China for imposing duties on steel tube imports, which Beijing claims were being sold at prices below market levels. Japan charged that the duties violated international agreements, in the latest volley in a slew of trade rows between China and its key trade partners that have seen tit for tat duties put on a range of goods. China announced the new duties ranging from 9.2% to 14.4% late last year on imports both from Japan and the European Union of steel tube mainly used in industrial boilers. China expressed disappointment with Japan's request, insisting the imposed duties were in line with its obligations under global trade rules.
Beijing has insisted the duties are needed since it claimed the imports were being sold at below market prices and causing substantive harm to Chinese industry. It launched a probe earlier this month into the alleged dumping. China, the world's top exporter, is also at loggerheads with its main trade partners, Japan, the United States and the EU, over sales of automobiles, rare earth minerals and solar cells. Meanwhile, the WTO panel will have about six months to draft its report on the dispute.

France crude steel output down by 12.2pct in April
   

According to data released by the French steel federation, France's crude steel output totaled 1.24 million tonne in April, decreasing by 12.2% YoY and down slightly from 1.34 million tonne in March. In April, the crude steel output produced by the country's electric arc furnace totaled 500,800 tonne, falling by 11.5%; those produced by blast furnace were at 744,000 tonne, decreasing by 12.8%, both compared to those in the same period of a year ago. In the first four months of this year, the country's crude steel output totaled 5.22 million tonne, falling by 6.2% YoY.

WTO panel to examine Japan-China steel duties dispute
   

The World Trade Organization said that its dispute settlement board had agreed to a request from Japan to create a panel to examine its dispute with China over steel duties. Japan had requested for a panel to evaluate its complaint against China for imposing duties on steel tube imports, which Beijing claims were being sold at prices below market levels. Japan charged that the duties violated international agreements, in the latest volley in a slew of trade rows between China and its key trade partners that have seen tit for tat duties put on a range of goods. China announced the new duties ranging from 9.2% to 14.4% late last year on imports both from Japan and the European Union of steel tube mainly used in industrial boilers. China expressed disappointment with Japan's request, insisting the imposed duties were in line with its obligations under global trade rules.
Beijing has insisted the duties are needed since it claimed the imports were being sold at below market prices and causing substantive harm to Chinese industry. It launched a probe earlier this month into the alleged dumping. China, the world's top exporter, is also at loggerheads with its main trade partners, Japan, the United States and the EU, over sales of automobiles, rare earth minerals and solar cells. Meanwhile, the WTO panel will have about six months to draft its report on the dispute.

Acroni launches new rolling mill
   

Steel maker Acroni launched officially on a new steel rolling machine worth EUR 42.6 million at Jesenice in Slovenia . The investment will enable Acroni to broaden its product range, allowing the Russian owned company to penetrate new markets. It replaces the old steel rolling machine, which had been in use for 46 years.

Viet Nam steel longs demand to remain weak – VSA
   

The Vietnam Steel Association said that Vietnam's demand for steel long products would remain weak due to sluggish construction activity in the domestic market. In April, Vietnam's output of steel long products totaled 436,000 tonne in April, falling by 2.6% from a month ago and decreasing by 5.2% YoY. Meanwhile, the country's sales volumes of steel long products in April decreased by 6.8% from a month ago to 420,000 ton.

Kobe Steel may shut BF – Nikkei
   

Nikkei reported that Kobe Steel Ltd is considering shutting a blast furnace in Kobe to cut production capacity by 20% as it tries to turn around its loss making iron and steel business. But Reuters report quoted Kobe Steel spokesman Mr Hiroyuki Yabuki as saying that “Nothing has been decided at this stage.” Its iron and steel operations posted an ordinary loss of JPY 50.2 billion in the year ended March after sluggish demand from shipbuilders and fierce competition from Asian rivals.