Spanish stainless group Acerinox bullish on H2 volumes

Spanish stainless steel group Acerinox said May 11 it is optimistic about the second half of 2021 with 80% more volume on its order books than March 2020 and 40% more than March 2019.

The company cited good demand from all stainless steel consuming sectors, while healthy orders for alloys, means its German-based VDM subsidiary should also recover from June, it said.

Acerinox said inventories are being rebuilt along the supply chain consumer sectors such as autos, food processing and domestic goods boosting demand and lifting margins.

In the first quarter, Acerinox produced 650,000 mt of melt shop output, up 9% year on year and up 8% form Q4 2020.

Its cold rolled output was flat year on year at 394,000 mt, but up 7% from Q4.

Its long product output was 63,000 mt, up 11% year on year and up 19% quarter on quarter.

The company said demand for its flat product increased both in the US and Europe, although export competition was still high in the latter. Its Asian business, however, remains impacted by latent overcapacity, it said.

In 2020, 46% of its volume was in the US market, 38% in Europe, 11% in Asia and 4% in Africa.

Acerinox operates manufacturing facilities in Kentucky, in the US, which has around 35% share of the US’ stainless and high performance steel market, while in Europe its market share is around 26% through plants in Spain and Germany.

Its other operations are in South Africa where it owns 76% of Columbus Stainless and Malaysia where it owns 98% of Bahru Stainless cold rolling shop.

— Gianluca Baratti