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

Steel Warehouse is introducing a new high-strength, abrasion-resistant (AR) steel to the Americas in partnership with Tata Steel. 


Tata’s new hot-rolled Valast 450 has been developed for production of heavy equipment used in industries such as agriculture, construction, mining, and recycling. The low-alloy steel will be available in 2-12mm with widths up to 81in.


Danny Lerman, marketing director at Steel Warehouse, and Gordon AuBuchon, executive vice president for product development, told Davis Index the strip mill plate production process used by Steel Warehouse in this partnership cost-effectively expands specialty solutions for customers in North and South America.  


AuBuchon added that the concept of Valast 450 evolved as a result of a Steel Warehouse’s longstanding relationship with Tata Steel, which resulted in the latter making the significant hot strip investment to produce the grade in 81in width. 


Valast 450 satisfies the present gap between the more common abrasion-resistant 300 gauge and the 500-600 gauge which has limited capabilities due to brittle properties. 


Domestically, the equivalent of Valast 450 is not produced by US manufactures who have not made the necessary investment to produce specialty heat treated plate that has been made by European and Asian firms over the past 15-20 years. 


Valast 450 will be imported from the Netherlands to Steel Warehouse production sites in the US, Mexico, and Brazil. Steel Warehouse has applied for and obtained tariff exclusions on products not available domestically.


AuBuchon said tariffs played an appropriate role in stopping unfair competition of commodity grades that hurt domestic consumers and Steel Warehouse made efforts to primarily source from domestic mills and only import what is not domestically produced. In the case of the US market, Steel Warehouse procures 80pc of steel from domestic partners. 


Putting it in perspective, AuBuchon added that within the 100mn nt US steel market, 6mn nt corresponds to plate production and abrasion-resistant specialty steel products make up approximately 10pc of the plate segment. 


Indiana-based Steel Warehouse is the heaviest gauge, highest volume coil processor in North America. The family-owned business has over $1bn in annual sales with 2,100 employees in the US, Mexico and Brazil.

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