Davis Index: Market Intelligence for the Global Metals and Recycled Materials Markets

US steelmaker Nucor anticipates record earnings in Q3 2021 driven by improved pricing and higher margins from its steel divisions. The company’s steel mill division is expected to lead in profitability but gains are also predicted in other steel products and raw materials segments.


Nucor’s total finished steel shipments climbed by 18pc to 13.3mn nt (12.06mn mt) in H1 2021 compared to the same year-ago period when it shipped 11.3mn nt. Steel mill shipments to internal customers represented 20pc of total steel mill shipments in Q2 2021, rangebound with Q2 2021 and the preceding quarter. 


In Q2 2021, Nucor’s sales to outside customers jumped by 37pc to 7.5mn nt in Q2 2021 against the same prior-year quarter with steel mills’ total sales increasing by 43pc to 5.4mn nt in the period under comparison. Sales of raw materials to outside customers jumped by 33pc to 814,000nt in Q2 2021 compared to 612,000nt in the same year-ago quarter. 


Nucor’s total steel mills shipments of finished products rose by 41pc to 4.8mn nt in Q2 2021 compared to the same year-ago quarter. Sheet shipments climbed across all categories in Q2 2021 against the year-ago quarter with sheet increasing by 46pc to 2.9mn nt, bars up by 40pc to 2.4mn nt, structural steel rising by 32pc to 681,000nt, plate climbing by 37pc to 599,000nt, and its other category up by 46pc to 118,000nt. 


Net sales revenue doubled to $8.8bn in Q2 2021 as costs rose by only 63pc to $6.8bn in the quarter compared to the same year-ago period. Net earnings increased 12-fold to $1.6bn in Q2 2021 compared to $133mn in the quarter last year. 


EBITDA per segment rose almost 15-fold for steel mills to $2.2bn in Q2 2021compared to $150.4mn in the year-ago quarter. In Q2 2021, the steel products segment’s EBITDA climbed by 69pc to $259mn against the year-ago quarter and raw materials achieved $120mn from a loss of over $1mn in the same quarter of 2020.


Average sales price per net ton in Q2 2021 increased by 49pc from Q2 2020 and by 20pc against Q1 2021. The average scrap and scrap substitute cost per gross ton consumed in production rose by 61pc to $457/nt in Q1 2021 against Q2 2020 and by 13pc from $405/nt in Q1 2021.

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