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

US Steel forecasts flat-rolled shipment volumes to be at 8.9-9.1mn nt (8.1-8.3mn mt) in 2021, up 2.3-4.6pc from 8.7mn in 2020, in addition to Big River Steel flat-rolled volumes of 2.6-2.8mn nt. European volumes are forecast at 3.9-4.1mn nt in 2021, up 30-37pc from 3mn shipped in 2020. The tubular division is expected to achieve shipment volumes of 0.4-0.5mn nt. Total legacy shipments at US Steel of 13.2-13.7mn nt in 2021 would increase shipments by 8-12pc against the 12.2mn nt shipped in 2020.


Raw steel production fell by 17.1pc to 12.7mn mt in 2020 compared to 15.3mn nt achieved the prior year. US Steel flat-rolled declined raw steel production for flat-rolled by 18.4pc to 9.3mn nt in 2020 against the previous year’s production of 11.4mn nt as capacity utilization decreased by 12pc points to 55pc. US Steel Europe decreased raw steel production by 13.8pc to 3.4mn mt in 2020 compared to 3.9mn mt in the same period a year ago. Europe’s capacity utilization dropped by 11pc points to 67pc in 2020. Tubular achieved steel production of 16,000nt and capacity utilization of 7pc. 


US Steel’s total shipments declined by 18.9pc to 12.2mn nt in 2020 from 15.1mn nt in 2019. Steel shipments for US Steel flat-rolled decreased by 18.6pc to 8.7mn nt in 2020 compare to 10.7mn nt in 2019. Europe’s division dropped steel shipments by 15.3pc to 3mn nt from 3.6mn nt in the previous year. Tubular shipments decreased by 39.7pc to 464,000nt in 2020 from 769,000nt in 2019.


Average realized prices declined across all products with flat-rolled declining by 4.6pc to $718/nt, Europe decreasing by 4pc to $626/nt, and tubular falling by 12.3pc to $1,271/nt.


Net sales decreased by 24.7pc to $9.7bn in 2020 from $12.9bn the prior year. Earnings before interest and income for 2020 multiplied losses to almost five-fold to $1.1bn in 2020 from $230mn in losses in 2019. Capital expenditures declined by 42.1pc in 2020 to $725mn. Total losses almost doubled from a loss of $630mn in 2019 to $1.2bn in 2020. Adjusted EBITDA declined from $711mn in 2019 to a loss of $162mn in 2020, but adjusted EBITDA increased to $87mn in Q4 2020 compared to $4mn in the same year-ago quarter. US Steel declined sales by 9.3pc to $2.6bn in Q4 2020 from $2.8bn in the same year-ago quarter. 


Big River Steel (BRS) is now fully part of the US Steel portfolio. In Q4 2020, BRS had product mix of 50pc hot rolled coil, 22pc cold rolled coil, and 28pc coated. US Steel America’s market reported increased automotive demand, appliance shipments up 6pc to 49.7mn units in 2020, and December gross shipments to service center increased by 10pc in 2020 against the same year-ago month. Inventories at service centers are low at 1.9month of supply. In the EU, the appliance sector is estimated to have contracted 5.8pc in 2020 against the prior year. US Steel has a raw steel capacity of 22.4mn nt.

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