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ArcelorMittal: US Steel Demand Good; Price Increases Sticking

By Alex MacDonald LONDON--Steel titan ArcelorMittal (MT) said Wednesday that U.S. steel demand remains robust and recent steel price increases for North American hot rolled coil are sticking as the steel import threat subsides. North American steelmakers were hit hard in the second quarter by increased steel imports due to a higher premium fetched for certain U.S. steel products compared with other parts of the world. Both NuCor Corp. (NUE) and AK Steel Holding Corp. (AKS), two large U.S. steelmakers, reported significantly lower second quarter earnings due in part to increased competition from steel imports. The price for North American hot rolled coil, a type of steel product used to make cars and house appliances, rose to $670 a short ton in February before falling to $600/ton or below as a result of the import influx, Lou Schorsch, the head of ArcelorMittal's flat carbon Americas division told Dow Jones Newswires in an interview. The price drop led to lower import license applications which in turn emboldened steelmakers to push for price increases to between $620 a short ton to $640/ton. "I think we are in balance now, barring much more severe prices in world," Mr. Schorsch said. "I think if you look at the fundamentals of the market, they're still relatively good and that price adjustment we just talked about means that the import pressure is not as significant as...two months ago," he noted. "We are seeing price increases that I think are sticking in North America, he added. Mr. Schorsch said ArcelorMittal is operating at effectively full capacity in North America with 11 out of its 13 furnaces in operation. Two smaller furnaces in Indiana Harbor in East Chicago are unlikely to restart any time soon given their high restart costs, Mr. Schorsch said. "Everything we can make, we're selling. We're pushing the facilities relatively hard," he said. -Write to Alex MacDonald at alex.macdonald@dowjones.com Subscribe to WSJ: http://online.wsj.com?mod=djnwires

Stock News for Mittal Steel (MT)
DateTimeHeadline
05/24/201611:56:31Specialized Disclosure Report (sd)
05/19/201610:00:48Report of Foreign Issuer (6-k)
05/11/201610:58:49Report of Foreign Issuer (6-k)
05/11/201610:23:00ArcelorMittal Launches Offer to Buy Back All $1.5 Billion in...
05/09/201618:43:00ADRs End Lower; AngloGold Ashanti, ArcelorMittal Decline
05/07/201603:04:00Steel Giant Expects Pain to Ease -- WSJ
05/06/201623:40:00What's News: Business & Finance
05/06/201615:14:02Report of Foreign Issuer (6-k)
05/06/201615:11:26Report of Foreign Issuer (6-k)
05/06/201609:02:00ArcelorMittal Says Steel Markets Are Stabilizing as Losses Narrow...
05/06/201607:29:00ArcelorMittal Narrows Losses, Cautions on China -- 2nd Update
05/06/201603:50:00ArcelorMittal Narrows Losses, Cautions on China
05/06/201603:04:00ArcelorMittal Narrows Losses, Cautions on China -- Update
05/06/201602:07:00ArcelorMittal Broadly Inline Says Jefferies -- Market Talk
05/05/201612:32:00ArcelorMittal Net Loss Seen Narrowing Friday - Earnings Preview
05/04/201611:13:18Report of Foreign Issuer (6-k)
05/02/201613:57:34Report of Foreign Issuer (6-k)
04/26/201613:53:00Report of Foreign Issuer (6-k)
04/26/201612:15:00ArcelorMittal to Redeem $1.4 Billion in Notes due in 2017
04/25/201613:32:29Report of Foreign Issuer (6-k)

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