Acerinox focuses on US market development

Acerinox will focus on “maximising” synergies with the acquisition of Haynes International (HI) and developing its presence in the US market. The group does not anticipate new mergers in the short term but is evaluating the path forward for its business in Malaysia. So says the global stainless supplier’s president, Carlos Ortega, during the company’s shareholders meeting.

“Haynes is a very relevant opportunity to increase the importance of the United States within the group and is in line with our strategy, together with the German VDM Metals highly valued supplier, to promote what we call the triple ‘A’: more America, more special alloys and more aerospace,” he comments.

HI’s transaction received approval from US antitrust authorities last week and is expected to close in the third quarter of 2024. Acerinox’s commitments include the absorption of its debt and other adjustments of approximately $172 million and an additional investment of $200m (see Kallanish passim).

The company’s chief executive, Bernardo Velázquez, states that Acerinox’s Bahru Stainless unit in Malaysia is going through a difficult situation. He suggests that the company is losing competitiveness following the flooding of cheaper steel from China in the region.

“We are making strategic reflection. The only thing that can be done is to stop production. We can’t compete there,” he observes.

Velázquez confirms that the board is trying to seal the new collective agreement with the workers at the Los Barrios plant in Cádiz, who have been on an indefinite strike since 5 February.

“In these moments when we are having losses, we have to be responsible and ensure everything goes forward,” he adds.

Acerinox produced 1.18 million tonnes of crude steel in 2023, down 11% year-on-year. Full-year cold rolled coil output fell by 15% to 1.22mt, while longs production dropped 41% on-year to 138,000t.

High-performance alloys output amounted to 76,000t in 2023, a decrease of 7%.

Acerinox’s 2023 net sales fell 24% y-o-y to €6.6 billion ($7.14 billion), while the group’s Ebitda was 45% lower at €703 million.

Todor Kirkov Bulgaria