SSAB shipments in the Americas and Europe are expected to decline in Q2 2020 because of COVID-19-related.
The company also expects prices to drop in the Americas and remain flat in Europe this quarter. Although demand for high-strength steel is expected to decrease, SSAB projects better output among its Asian counterparts.
Globally, the company’s crude steel production in Q1 2020 increased by 4pc to 2.08mn mt compared to 2mn mt in Q1 2019, and it rose by 28pc over 1.6mn mt in Q4 2019. Its rolling production in Q1 2020 also rose by 3pc to 1.95mn mt from 1.88mn mt during the same quarter in 2019, while it rose by 32pc over 1.48mn mt in Q4 2019.
In the special steel sector, the company’s global crude steel production decreased by 24pc in Q1 to 293,000mt compared to 385,000mt in Q1 2019, however, production surged by 106pc from 142,000mt in Q4 2019. Rolling production in the special steel sector increased by 4pc to 151,000mt in Q1 from 145,000mt in Q1 2019, and increased by 82pc from 83,000mt in Q4 2019. This significant drop in production in the fourth quarter is a reflection of scheduled maintenance outages and lower demand.
In Europe, crude steel production in Q1 2020 rose by 14pc 1.13mn mt from 993,000mt in Q1 2019, and by 22pc from 926,000mt in Q4 2019. Rolling production climbed by 2pc to 1.19mn mt in the first quarter of the year from 1.16mn mt in Q1 2019; production was also up by 36pc from 876,000mt in Q4 2019. There was lower demand in the most recent fourth quarter, which led to idling the Raahe blast furnace and, therefore, lower results.
Crude steel production during Q1 2020 in the Americas was up by 6pc to 658,000t from 621,000mt during the same period a year ago, and by 19pc from 554,000mt in Q4 2019. Rolling production in the Americas also rose by 6pc in Q1 2020 to 614,000mt from 581,000mt in Q1 2019, while increasing by 17pc over 526,000mt in Q4 2019. Production was once again affected in Q4 2019 by scheduled maintenance outages.
SSAB’s total global shipments increased marginally by 1pc to 1.78mn mt in Q1 2020 compared to 1.74mn mt in Q1 2019, while increasing considerably more by 21pc from 1.47mn mt in Q4 2019. External shipments in the special steel sector decreased by 10pc to 305,000mt in Q1 2020 from 338,000mt in Q1 2019, but increased by 22pc from 249,000mt in Q4 2019.
Europe saw a 5pc rise in external steel shipments in Q1 2020 to 955,000mt from 907,000mt in Q1 2019, and saw a 21pc increase from 752,000mt in Q4 2019. SSAB Americas also had a 5pc increase in external shipment of steel in Q1 2020 to 527,000mt compared to 500,000mt in Q1 2019, and increased by 10pc from Q4 2019 at 478,000mt.
SSAB’s global revenue in Q1 2020 was down by 6pc to $1.9bn, but up by 11pc from the previous quarter. The company’s special steel sector saw a 7pc drop in revenue in Q1 2020 to $453mn from Q1 2019, while it increased by 14pc from Q4 2019.
SSAB Europe’s revenue last quarter was down by 5pc to $813mn, however, it saw an increase of 21pc from Q4 2019. Revenue in the Americas in Q1 2020 decreased by 20pc to $387mn from the same quarter in 2019, but rose by 8pc increase from Q4 2019.
The company’s focus currently is to avoid COVID-19 spreading among its employees, the company sid. It is taking several precautionary measures to curtail any negative effects from declining shipments, which are the result of lower industrial activity. The firm remains focused on developing its special steel and fossil-free steel divisions, and it carries a strong balance sheet of $2.2bn to help it through the crisis.