America's Nucor points to continuing damage from steel imports

United States: Nucor paid on average US$ 307 per ton in scrap and scrap substitute costs last year - a whopping 35% hike compared to the US$ 228 of 2016, the major US steelmaker has revealed in its latest results statement. In the final quarter of 2017, scrap and scrap substitute payments averaged the same as in the preceding three months at US$ 317 per ton, although this represented an increase of 34% over the US$ 236 average recorded for the fourth quarter of 2016.

The company’s consolidated net sales increased by 25% to US$ 20.25 billion last year while average sales price per ton increased by 15%.

Steel shipments to outside customers were 9% higher year on year at 26.492 million tons. Overall operating rates at Nucor’s steel mills increased to 85% in 2017 from 78% in the previous year. According to Nucor, imports ‘continue to negatively impact the US steel industry’.

Total steel imports in 2017 are said to have increased by more than 5 million net tons - or 15.5% - compared to 2016, with finished steel imports accounting for an estimated 27% share of the US market.

While China has attracted most of the headlines over recent years for the impact of its steel exports, latest Chinese customs data indicate that these dropped more than 30% from 108.43 million tonnes in 2016 to 75.43 million tonnes in 2017.


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