European steelmaker Outokumpu intends to grow its market share in the Americas this year.

 

The company indicated in its 2019 annual report that it had strengthened its performance in the region last year, despite challenges like distributor destocking, which affected its material delivery.

 

Roeland Baan, Outokumpu’s chief executive officer, said the company was looking to strengthen roots in the US by the end of 2020, which coincides with the start of ferritic production at its facility in Calvert during Q4.

 

Also this year, the firm will increase its production capacity from a group average of 61pc to 70pc, in addition to improving delivery performance in the Americas region.

 

For its European operations, which comprised about 64pc of the company’s stainless steel deliveries in 2019, Baan indicated that its long-term viability depended on leveling the playing field for European companies that compete with low-cost Asian imports from countries like China, Taiwan, and Indonesia.

 

Baan suggested a host of measures—notably safeguards and antidumping duties on imports from these countries—to restore “fair market value” for steel manufactured in Europe. Additionally, he said the resolution of a complaint filed by the EU and the US with the World Trade Organization against Indonesia for distorting the global nickel market, and addressing the industry’s apprehension about steel imports from highly polluting Asian countries, would help European steelmakers like Outokumpu compete fairly in the global steel markets.

 

In 2019, the company’s total sales declined by 6.8pc to €6.4bn ($7bn) compared to the previous year, while its EBITDA decreased by 46pc to €266mn over the same period.

 

€1 = US1.09

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