Lee Harrison's ACCA Examination Success!

All Steels is delighted to announce that our accounts department colleague Lee Harrison has passed his final accounting exam with flying colours and become a member of the ACCA.

We think it’s fair to say that Lee’s motivation during studying was the knowledge that the qualification would enable him to further assist All Steels' group of businesses and wide range of respective suppliers/customers through the highly valuable experience and expertise Lee has so very successfully and well-deservedly gained.

Many congratulations Lee!

UK Steel Market Evaluation

Dear All Steels Customers,

A fair number of you have recently been asking for All Steels’ opinion on market developments based on our international trade experience and contacts. Hence, rather than potentially repeating the same current message many times over here is our view on trying to make sense of steel trade in the UK in these unprecedented times.

Everything said below has to be tempered with a belief that demand will slow down and it could even fall off a cliff edge if forced self-isolation and social distancing measures continue for most of 2020.

My opening section really just addresses the raw material cost fundamentals on steelmaking, but as we all know it is supply and demand that always has the hardest bearing on steel prices.

As you can see from the selection of graphs below iron ore, coking coal and scrap prices remain relatively high, and with the knowledge that virtually all steelmakers are losing money we can take some comfort that steel producers simply can’t afford to cut prices:

Iron Ore


Prices clearly remain firm and the recent stabilising in price is reportedly resulting from the Chinese heavily returning to buying as they resume normal production.

The acceleration on prices at the start of 2019 leading to the June 2019 peak was primarily caused by major output cuts in Brazil following the collapse of a major dam at Vale’s Córrego do Feijão mine. This followed with closure of many other Brazilian mines due to concerns over the structure of their tailings dams. Production has remained slow to recover, so over supply has been avoided.
1.7t of iron ore is used to make a tonne of steel.

Coking Coal


Whether you are looking at Australia or China, metallurgical coking coal prices all follow a close trend.

The peaks usually arise at the time of monsoon weather conditions and resulting heavy floods in Australia.

Over the last few years prices have been in a more stable band of $160-185 per tonne and have remained relatively flat since the start of this year.
0.7t of coking coal is used to make a tonne of steel.

Scrap


Turkish imported scrap prices are always most reactive to supply and demand and whilst prices have tumbled circa $35-40 per tonne over recent weeks, they still remain much higher than the early October 2019 position. The downwards trending of scrap was expected to continue, but the tightening up of availability from US Ports as they go on lockdown is now becoming a constraint on supply, so this trend could reverse.
1.1t of scrap is used to make a tonne of steel.

Another big influencer of UK steel prices is obviously exchange rates and the message here is clear to see.

Exchange Rates



Since the onslaught of the coronavirus the value of the £ has taken a tanking with the loss of circa 10% of its value.

Whether it is raw materials for the UK steelmakers or imported steel this movement is dramatic adding circa £50 per tonne of price growth to steel with a typical price tag of £500 per tonne.

All shipping and road transport for deliveries to the UK are also Euro or US$ based, so this is again adding big additional costs to imported prices.

PRODUCT REVIEWS
The pricing dynamic by product are quite varied, so in this second section I have tried to give All Steels’ true view on how we see trade.

Merchant Bar
In the UK we are blessed with a good volume of domestic mills including Bromford Iron, Celsa UK, Liberty Merchant Bar, etc, but all these mills have the reverse benefit on exchange rates with a 10% sterling return gain on Euro selling prices.

Moreover, two of the most prolific producers of merchant bar in Europe (Beltrame Italy & LME France) are both on coronavirus lockdowns for manufacture and despatches. There are also many other small family merchant bar mills in southern Europe that are also known to be closed. This is creating a huge mainland European demand for our domestic mills whilst a hole is left in import supplies to the UK from Beltrame and LME. This has resulted in Celsa UK applying £50 per tonne of increases on deliveries this coming week (£25 per tonne on Monday 23-3-20 + £25 per tonne on Thursday 26-3-20). 

Our other domestic mills are also applying increases, but demand is really tight and providing demand holds up more dramatic increases seem inevitable. We also can’t rule out the risk of the domestic mills suffering the same fate as LME/Beltrame. The chances of the latter has to be high as it does not take too many key operatives to be absent for a mill / steel plant not to function.

Hollow Sections
There has been an abundance of hollow section availability with so many purchasers buying so heavily to beat EU Safeguards against the Turkish supply quota that got exhausted much quicker than anticipated in mid-February. Dock stocks do remain relatively high and All Steels also heavily front loaded to beat Safeguard quotas, but the holes are just starting to appear in our hollow sections stock range.

With no prospects of Turkish imports being possible until the new Safeguard quota window opens on the 1st July supply has to tighten up as we step through each month in Q2. It is also worthy of note that Italian imports will clearly become more difficult with the coronavirus constraints on both production and logistics. With respect to replacement prices out of Turkey current prices are high due to the weak value of the £, so domestic prices in the UK have to rise over the next three months, but this will be somewhat curtailed by an anticipated weakening in demand.

Structural Sections
This is another product where stocks have remained high in the UK as everyone bought heavily in anticipation of price increases pre-Christmas and then demand suddenly weakened. The price increases had all failed by the time we entered February, but two factors will come into play on forward supplies.

1. Virtually half the UK supply is satisfied by EU imports and the 10% devaluation of sterling against the Euro must end up being reflected on import prices.

2. Over the weekend ArcelorMittal has declared a force majeure on raw materials supplied to its European steel mills. This signals a strong message on the likelihood of further mill closures. The likes of Duferdofin Nucor, Italy’s largest section producer is already closed and more must follow. When one of these mills goes down it leaves a huge hole in the supply chain. When more than one mill goes on lockdown availability will become analogous to trying in vain to purchase a fair share of necessary toilet rolls from one of Britain’s supermarkets!

These are only All Steels’ views, which we have generally been asked to share. However, we hope this provides you with some useful guidance on what is most likely to unfold in these difficult business times.

Stay safe.

Best regards,

Laurence McDougall
Managing Director

All Steels' New Export Sales Director

We are delighted to announce that Lee White will assume the role of All Steels’ new Export Sales Director effective as from 1 April 2020.

Going forward Lee will naturally become even more focused on developing export sales primarily for All Steels, but also for our two main sister manufacturing businesses i.e. Special Steel Sections and Bromford Iron.

This is a very well-deserved All Steels promotion for Lee, and we are sure that our export customers in particular will also recognise that he has achieved this new All Steels executive board position as a result of his impressive ability to adeptly maintain and develop existing and new export sales accounts coupled with his unwavering enthusiasm, commitment and strong collaborative skills.

We trust you will all wish Lee all the very best in his new All Steels Export Sales Director role.

Bank of England Collaboration!

We are very pleased to report that All Steels’ Finance Director (Matthew Rhodes) has recently accepted an invitation to take part in a highly relevant and important Bank of England initiative!

The vote to leave the European Union is of course likely to have significant implications for the UK economic outlook and it will take time for those implications to become clear. In light of this, the Bank has launched a new Decision Maker Panel of finance directors from across industries and from around the UK.

The Decision Maker Panel of key/selected finance directors will have immediate policy relevance for:

1. Assessing the likely implications of the Brexit referendum on corporate decision making (for example investment and hiring) and hence the broader economic outlook.

2. Assessing the sectors, regions and firm types (for example small, young) most affected by uncertainty, where more immediate action to offer policy or institutional solutions may be required.

Naturally, All Steels is very appreciative of being given the opportunity via Matthew Rhodes to participate in/contribute to this significant new Bank of England initiative. It’s also always very nice to be especially recognised as being a strong and influential UK based international exporter of steel long products.

Santa Says 48 Days Left!

It’s certainly been a very exciting day here at All Steels because our large outside Christmas Tree is now up and beautifully adorned with its usual sparkling red & gold baubles! The tree’s many festive fairy lights, and including its large tree top star are all also shining very brightly too! We hope that all of our Thirsk neighbours will really enjoy seeing and sharing this seasonal sight with us throughout the next couple of winter months.



Can you believe that there’s now only 48 days left until Christmas Day 2019! However, All Steels feels it’s perfectly acceptable now to start getting into the festive spirit and sharing some good cheer all around! We’re sure that you will agree our wonderful 2019 Christmas Tree is a very pretty sight to behold, and one that will no doubt put a smile on your face too each time you pass by it.

With special thanks to Freddie (our Credit Controller Emily’s little boy) who officially picked out our tree this year. It’s never that easy picking the perfect shape, height plus a truly straight looking Christmas Tree is it, so what a truly great job he did?!

Freddie understands that there are no presents under the tree yet because Santa only delivers presents on Christmas Eve and of course only to those who have been good all year!

AST's Acquisition of Bromford Iron & Steel

All Steels Trading is delighted to announce that we have recently completed the acquisition of Bromford Iron & Steel in West Bromwich.

With a history spanning well over 200 years, Bromford Iron & Steel has a widespread and highly positive reputation as being a leading producer of hot rolled long products. Its rolling mills currently employ 38 people at the Oldbury site where activity in iron and steel processing can be traced back as far as 1610. The company has benefitted from regular and extensive investment in new plant and technology to ensure that Bromford’s product quality, flexibility and ability to produce small tonnages notoriously matches world best standards.

As well as being a leading producer of hot rolled steel profiles for horseshoe manufacture, the company is a major supplier to other sectors including oil and gas and chain-making. In addition to Bromford’s standard and non-standard range of flat bars and sections, the business specialises in producing tailor made hot rolled profiles for countless applications that can eliminate time, labour and expensive machining costs. Bromford also provides a number of secondary steel processing services such as pickling and oiling, cold side straightening and heat treatment.

The exciting acquisition of Bromford Iron & Steel offers excellent synergy with All Steels Trading's other UK steel related businesses, but especially with our Wolverhampton-based Special Steel Sections re-rolling mill. As a bulk international steel trader, we have the critical mass to obtain extremely competitive raw materials prices and these price savings will inevitably enable Bromford to sustainably grow and fulfil capacity.

This major acquisition also confirms All Steels Trading's commitment to supporting and investing in traditional British industries, and safeguarding a significant number of UK jobs. We believe British companies in this industry sector are more than capable of not just supporting domestic steel requirements but successfully competing on the world stage – and the support of All Steels Trading and our duo of UK steel manufacturing companies will no doubt help Bromford to successfully continue to do just that.

Bromford's mill number 1 cooling bed is shown in the image displayed directly below.


All Steels' Build Project is on Target!

All Steels is delighted to report that the construction of our new dedicated 300,000+ square foot warehouse at Groveport is now well underway!

The exciting new All Steels warehouse project build is scheduled to be completed on target, so we’re confidently aiming to have literally all of our circa 40,000 tonnes of steel housed inside our new purpose-built warehouse at Groveport by the end of November 2019! All Steels’ new warehouse at Groveport will have the added benefit of direct quay access and the use of four fully automated large overhead cranes, thus bolstering All Steels’ already highly renowned ability to provide our customers with short delivery lead-times and excellent value for money.

It’s also great to report that as you might expect All Steels’ new warehouse at Groveport is being built of a steel frame structure wherein, All Steels has supplied a significant part of the quality steel products required for this multi-million-pound new warehouse build. We’ll certainly keep you updated with the continued timely progress of this exciting All Steels 2019 warehouse building expansion project.


All Steels' new expanded warehouse building project at Groveport

Multi-million Pound Expansion!

PD Ports/AST's Multi-million-pound Warehouse Expansion!



PD Ports has announced a multi-million-pound investment at Groveport in partnership with one of Europe’s fastest growing international steel traders and long-standing customer, All Steels Trading.

This new long-term contract represents the largest single investment in the last decade at Groveport and signifies the next step in PD Ports’ growth strategy as the Port gears up for further expansion to support its growing reputation as the UK’s market leader for handling long steel products.

Construction on the new six-month build programme, which offers direct quay access, started in March and will see All Steels Trading’s footprint at Groveport expand from 166,000 sq. ft to over 300,000 sq. ft.

Once operational, PD Ports’ skilled and experienced team will handle, store and prepare the steel trader’s products ensuring they are available on demand; bolstering All Steels Trading’s customer commitment to short delivery lead-times and value for money.

Laurence McDougall, All Steels Trading Managing Director believes the partnership with PD Ports works because of the unique working relationship.

“PD Ports understands what we need to keep our customers on track, it’s an invaluable partnership. Having the ability to centralise all of our operations at Groveport enables us to deliver an unrivalled service for our customers, reaffirming our market position as the number one choice for long steel products in the UK.

“There is no other port in the UK that can offer the unique combination of capacity, infrastructure and exceptional service levels that we require. This new facility will streamline our entire business model.

“We often have to respond quickly to fluctuations in demand and knowing we can rely on PD Ports to handle, store and have our steel products available on demand adds real strength to our customer offer in terms of efficiency and value for money.”

Geoff Lippitt, PD Ports’ Group Business Development Director, sees this new contract as a further testament to the Company’s steel handling expertise and highly regarded reputation for deliverable logistics services.

“We are incredibly proud to have further strengthened our long-standing relationship with All Steels Trading as UK port of choice beyond 2035.

“The length of the contract with All Steels Trading shows a true partnership and demonstrates the trust and confidence the Company has in our market knowledge and our ability to understand as well as respond to their needs.

“Our skills and experience complemented by our central UK location for transport distribution to key UK steel processing sites and backed by a dedicated haulage fleet has positioned Groveport as the UK’s market leader for handling long steel products.

“We have seen transformational change in the global steel industry in recent years which has brought challenges but also real opportunity for some of our customers and we are continuing to invest and support that customer growth.”

https://youtu.be/3XYJ-M4y2RI

Final Day Made in Steel 2019!

It's the final day of Made in Steel 2019.  The All Steels Milan exhibition team has certainly enjoyed meeting up already, at this three day international trade fair, with an interesting plethora of fellow steel aficionados!  It's still not too late to come and visit the All Steels exhibition booth.  We're conveniently located in Hall 22, Stand I15.  See you here soon!

Made in Steel 2019

Fieramilano Rho – Milan – Italy

14–15–16 May 2019

Held every two years, Made in Steel brings together under one roof key steel industry players – from producers to users – to take stock of where the sector is going.  Hence, All Steels Trading is delighted to be exhibiting once again at Made in Steel.  We’re almost ready for the doors to open tomorrow, so please come and see us if you’re attending.  We’re located in Pavilion 22, Stand I15.

AST Reaching New Heights!

We’re so very proud to say that every single member of the AST National Three Peaks Team climbed the mighty Snowdon this morning, after ascending/descending both Ben Nevis and Scafell Pike on Saturday/yesterday – wow! 


Ben Nevis Summit

With sheer determination, focus, accountability, true grit and of course great camaraderie the AST Team has now successfully accomplished what it set out to achieve.  Yes, they’ve each climbed around 3,050 metres and have walked approximately 40km in circa 13 hours (excluding transfer times)! 


Scafell Pike Summit

An old-fashioned photo album will be created of AST's mountaineering National Three Peaks Challenge adventure and left in AST’s office reception area for your interest etc.  However, far more importantly, as a consequence of taking on the gruelling/not for the faint-hearted challenge AST has managed to raise over £5k for The Prince’s Trust youth charity, and the sponsorship level is still growing – thank you all so very much for your kind/wonderful support!  

Snowdon Summit

 https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/allsteels

10 Days Left!

Dear All Steels Customers/Business Partners,

It’s only 10 days left and counting now to AST’s Three Peaks Challenge 11-12 May 2019!

The harsh reality of what this triple mountain B2B/in 48 hours climbing challenge truly entails is now very much on our minds!  However, it’s fair to say that the AST Challenge team is as physically fit/prepared as possible and we’re also feeling mentally strong too! 

Here are a few facts about this AST event in aid of The Prince’s Trust youth charity for those of you who are interested/following our charity story:

1. Saturday 11 May 2019 – 7.30am climb Ben Nevis.  (Highest mountain in Scotland, at an elevation of 1,345 metres above sea level).

2. Saturday 11 May 2019 – circa 7.30pm climb Scafell Pike.  (Highest mountain in England, at an elevation of 978 metres above sea level).

3. Sunday 12 May 2019 – circa 5.30am climb Snowdon.  (Highest mountain in Wales, at an elevation of 1,085 metres above sea level).

On Friday 10 May 2019 the AST Thirsk office will be open for business as usual, albeit with a reduced number of AST colleagues readily available to respond to landline directed calls, as the AST Three Peaks Challenge members will be travelling up to the Scottish Highlands in preparation for the first early Saturday morning Ben Nevis mountain climb.  However, it’s anticipated that the AST colleagues in transit will still be readily available to assist you if you call during Friday on an AST colleague’s work mobile number.

The AST Three Peaks Challenge members will include: Adam Grant, Anna Clarkson, Jon Jacobs, Karolina Florek, Lee White, Laurence McDougall/me, Sandra Malecka, Sarah Pritchard and Tom McDougall.  The AST Challenge members will of course all be back at AST Thirsk/work first thing on Monday 13 May 2019 ready to tell you their mountain climb stories blisters and all!

We would like to take this opportunity to sincerely thank all of our AST customers/business partners who have already generously made a sponsorship support pledge.  It’s great to know that by completing the gruelling Three Peaks/Prince’s Trust Charity Challenge we will all be helping to make a difference to the lives of young disadvantaged people.

Once again, thank you so much for the kind and generous donations given and all your supportive words of encouragement.  It’s very much appreciated especially by the AST Three Peaks Challenge members/The Prince’s Trust.  We will let you know in due course, with picture evidence included, just how quickly and successfully we completed the mission!  If you haven’t already made a sponsorship donation and you would like to do so then please simply follow the All Steels JustGiving web page link provided directly below here: 

https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/allsteels

Many thanks.

Cheers

Laurence McDougall
Managing Director

Bauma (Munich) April 2019

 

All Steels Trading is currently exhibiting at Bauma 2019!

The Bauma exhibition is only held every three years at Munich’s trade fair centre but lasts for seven days. It's essentially the leading trade fair for construction machinery, building material machines, mining machines, construction vehicles and construction equipment. In terms of exhibition space Bauma is certainly the world's largest trade show. We would love to meet you in All Steels Trading's exhibition booth (Hall 5 349/9) if you're attending!

Global Awards 2019 Winner!

All Steels Trading is delighted to announce that we have very recently received a beautiful/new large glass trophy to proudly display in our Thirsk Head Office Boardroom!

The CEO Today Global Awards are in essence dedicated to recognising strong and innovative leadership amongst business leaders operating around the world.

CEO Today magazine works with and features some of the most innovative, forward-thinking, thought-leading CEOs in business today.

Featuring CEOs from across every region and from all of the key business sectors, CEO Today magazine is ideally placed to recognise and applaud those CEOs that have clearly disrupted their industry’s status quo and taken their company to new heights of innovation and growth.

It is fantastic news that All Steels Trading's Managing Director/CEO has been identified and honoured as a worthy winner by the CEO Today Global Awards 2019 judging panel.

New AST Board of Directors

Following the continuing successful development of the company, I have decided to make a number of high level changes to effectively create a larger AST Board. The new/expanded AST Board of Directors, effective from the 1st April 2019, will be as follows:

Matthew Rhodes – Finance Director

Matthew is a fully qualified FCCA and whilst he has only been with AST for just over 12 months, he spent circa 10 years working for Salzgitter UK doing a similar job where he exited as their Financial Controller. In addition to his functional role as AST Finance Director Matthew is also overseeing the financial management of Special Steel Sections, The Steel Ball Company and Steelstock Services (Midlands).

Thomas McDougall – Commercial Director
Whilst Thomas is still relatively new to AST he has now worked as a loyal, fully committed employee for group businesses for just over 10 years. In his years of employment with ex sister company Tomrods 6 -7 day working weeks were more often the norm with frequent night time working. He would also go to whatever measure was necessary to ensure that customers were never let down. Whilst the commercial window is generally only open for making telephone calls between the hours of 8:30 to 5.00pm Thomas still works many additional hours and his commitment to the business and its success is unquestionable. I am extremely proud of what Thomas is achieving. With his huge contribution to sales tonnage it is imperative that Thomas now quickly starts to learn the wider interest of the business with respect to purchasing, finance and general business strategy.

Jon Jacobs – Operations Director
Jon has now been with AST for nearly 12 years and has progressed into the job of Office Manager in 2015. Jon has been the anchor man in looking after every form of operations in the business from office management, transport planning, IT infrastructure for the new office, liaison with the docks and secondary steel processors etc. Having started from the grass roots of the business there is not many aspects of the business and its systems that Jon is not familiar with. His work ethic and commitment to the business has always been first class and he is well deserving of this directorship position.

Kim McDougall – Communications Director
Kim has worked alongside me as my PA for 7 years and provides an unbelievable amount of help and support. As the company expands we are having to communicate with a wider range of associates and external businesses on a more regular basis and it is obviously important that all our communications are conveyed in a professional and consistent/articulate way to promote the best possible company image/brand. In addition, as the company develops we also need better awareness of human resource responsibilities, legalities and procedures where Kim is also helping to bridge this gap. Without her day to day support my job would be literally impossible so again this a well-deserved appointment that takes full advantage of Kim’s past senior position work experiences and academic qualifications and helps to firm up our wider family interest/commitment in the business.

Kevin Middis – Board Advisor

Kevin is someone I have known for nearly 20 years and historically helped me with the acquisition of both Special Steel Sections & The Steel Ball Company. Throughout his career in the steel industry he has enjoyed the role of Finance Director and other senior directorships in large corporate PLC businesses. He has also worked as a financial advisor to other steel trading and steel processing businesses. Whilst Kevin sits on the AST Board he is working as a finance /business strategy consultant and currently very much helping out as an interface with our bankers to ensure we retain a fair deal on our financial facilities.

I would like to wish all the above colleagues the best of success in their roles and should anyone have any queries about these appointments my door is always open.

Laurence McDougall

Managing Director

Steel Prices Alert

Dear All Steels Customers
It is only at unprecedented times that we feel the need to go to print on events that are having a major impact on steel prices and we have again reached such a point in time.
As always for simplicity we will keep to straight forward facts that are mainly in the public domain and leave you to make your own judgement.  From an All Steels perspective however we just feel it is necessary to convey such news so that all our customers are forewarned as to why our prices are rising with the added problem of stock outages on a number of our key products that will be difficult to replace until early July 2019.
The issues are basically four fold: Iron Ore, Coking Coal, Scrap & Safeguards.  There is also the BREXIT factor to come into play but this is such an unknown we are wisely keeping away from this debate.

Iron Ore
The catalyst for change on steel prices started with the disaster that took place in Brazil on the 25 January 2019 with the collapse of a major dam at Vale’s Córrego do Feijão mine.  This was the second Brazilian dam to collapse in 3 years linked to iron ore production.  The death toll on this occasion is likely to exceed 300 people and the severity of the humanitarian and environmental disaster has prompted huge government intervention.
As of this morning Vale declared force majeure on some iron ore contracts after a court-ordered halt to a mine responsible for nearly 9 per cent of Vale’s output.  The force majeure came after a court on Monday ordered it to stop using eight tailings dams, including one affecting production of about 30 million tonnes of iron ore output per annum.
Numerous dams in Brazil are now coming under heavy scrutiny and further mining operations could be suspended.
Iron ore prices have surged since the disaster, hitting effectively a two-year high.
The graph below shows the rate of price change.  There are various published iron ore price indices / recordings but they all show the same trend movement.  The graph below is for: XSIO001 – SGX 62% Fe Iron Ore Cash-Settled Swaps (dry metric tonne) – CFR Tiamjin Port, China import $/t.
What the graph below shows is over a 30% increase in iron ore prices since the December year end. This equates to a $25 per tonne movement but with 1.7t of iron ore required to make a tonne of steel this amounts to a $42.50 per tonne impact on steel prices.



What is also known is that Europe is one of the large export markets for Brazilian iron ore and with many of the European buyers being forced to find new supplies quickly following Vale’s force majeure such action logically suggests further upward price pressure will follow.

Coking Coal
The news of Monsoon weather conditions in Queensland Australia is making world news headlines with the city of Townsville being completely flooded as officials were forced to release floodgates at an overwhelmed dam.  Loss of human life was again experienced and at least 20,000 homes have been flooded.
The city’s streets are reportedly full of washed in crocodiles and snakes and whilst this remains the main focus of the news feeds the monsoon has now moved south into the Bowen Basin and heading towards McKay where all the major Australian thermal coal mines and coal port terminals are located.
There is plenty of web news live on this topic as the heavy rains continue e.g.
https://think.ing.com/snaps/the-commodities-feed-heavy-crude-osp-raised/
A paragraph in this link reads as follows:
Coking coal disruptions: “Floods in Queensland, Australia have led to some disruptions at coal mines and export terminals in the region. Queensland’s main coal exporting terminal, Abbott Point has suspended operations, whilst Glencore has also halted operations at its Collinsville and Newlands mines.  This comes at a time when there is plenty of uncertainty over iron ore supply, following the recent Vale dam accident. Yesterday, Vale declared force majeure on some contracts, following a court order to suspend 30mtpa of capacity.”
The events of the Australian mines being hit by the monsoon is breaking news so the impact on coking coal prices will not be known until early next week but the below reports generated by Simpson Spencer Young show a $15 per tonne rise in coking coal prices over the last 2 week period against a background of forecasters predicting a decline in coking coal prices.  (It is estimated that 0.7t of coking coal is required to produce a tonne of steel).



Scrap

When any events in the world have a potential impact on steel prices Turkish scrap prices always respond the quickest and most aggressively.  As a single price indicator the Turkish scrap price is therefore an excellent barometer to watch.
Given the Iron ore and coking coal situation it is therefore not surprising to yet again see a huge shift in Turkish scrap prices.
There is little narrative that is required to explain the below.  An upward shift in price of $49 per tonne in less than a month with 1.1t of scrap required to make a tonne of steel.


This evening one of our major Turkish steel suppliers refused to commit to an offer as scrap prices today moved up by the hour as they were trying to buy and they are expecting more of the same in the lead up to the weekend.

Safeguards
The impact of EU Safeguards only started to materialise in the closing weeks of December as quota levels by product quickly started to fill up.  As All Steels Trading we had first-hand experience with a December shipload of hollow sections that we quite simply had to bond to avoid the risk of a 25% duty charge.  On 2 February 2019 we entered a new 5 month duty window and like many other traders we were busy customs clearing our bonded cargos but the situation is very confusing and extremely high risk going forward over the next 2 quarters.
We are sure most of you will be up to speed on EU Safeguards but the below should help to clarify how the current situation is going to result in All Steels Trading having stock outages during the first half of the year.
For the purpose of explaining our issues we will focus specifically on hollow sections even though we believe some other products have bigger issues.
During the first EU Safeguard quota window that ran from 19 July 2018 to 1 February 2019 with an allowed quota level on hollow sections of 387,343 tonnes for all non-EU suppliers.  (The whole quota was fully utilised).
The second EU Safeguard quota window runs from 2 February 2019 to 1 July 2019 but this time the quota is broken down by country at the following levels.

 Country Tonnage Quota 
 Turkey  154,436
 Russia  35,406
 Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia  34,028
 Ukraine  25,240
 Switzerland  25,265
 Belarus  20,898
 Other Countries  25,265


Our general concerns are:

1: The Turkish hollow sections quota is set at a low level as it is based on a 3 year average trade level pre July 2018.  In more recent times Turkey has been a much more dominant supplier to Europe as Trump’s 50% import tariff on Turkish hollow sections effectively shut the door on Turkish hollow sections exports to the USA.  The Turkish EU Safeguard quota is therefore expected to be utilised very early in this new window.
2: On 2 January 2019 many traders throughout Europe were known to be bonding Turkish hollow sections just like All Steels Trading so we believe that a huge loading against the allowed allocation is already in place.
3: It is also known that many traders have attempted to front load the quota window just like All Steels Trading and have shiploads due to arrive over the coming months.  Again the number of such ships already on the high seas heading towards Europe is known to be large and as each week drifts by the chances of being hit with a 25% duty as the quota gets exhausted becomes a huge danger!
4: The EU commission are struggling to reconcile tonnage receipts due to the added complexity of also setting tonnes by country.  At present we have no visibility of where imports are against the set quotas for any product and we are being advised by the commission that it could take up until 19 February 2019 for them to get their system up and running.  All traders are therefore running blind with the risk of retrospective duty charges being a real possibility on goods already imported on certain products.

With such confusion All Steels Trading is finding it impossible to buy non EU hollow sections for the sale of such goods prior to 1 July 2019.
If we bought more hollow sections today from Turkey we either run the risk of paying out a 25% duty on arrival or if timing allows putting such new material in bonding until 1 July 2019, which would ultimately leave us letting customers down and incurring huge incremental financing and warehousing costs.  The bottom line is therefore on sizes where we already have zero stock or zero remaining availability on our February 2019 ship this will remain our position until 1 July 2019.  We would also add that we are already seeing a high level of sales so we do believe our stocks will soon become depleted.

We trust that you will appreciate this update and if you have any queries please give me or one of All Steels Trading’s sales team members a call.

Best regards
Laurence McDougall

AST’s Three Peaks Challenge

As you know, All Steels Trading is a proud Patron of The Prince's Trust and so we naturally like to support this incredibly worthwhile youth charity as much as we possibly can. In May 2019, several members of All Steels Trading will be pushing ourselves to our limits in support of young lives by climbing the three highest peaks in England, Scotland and Wales, but one straight after the other!

Our two-day challenge will have All Steels Trading colleagues hiking up the most glorious but highest mountains in the UK i.e. Ben Nevis, Scafell Pike and Snowden! We will travel first to Fort William on Friday 10th May 2019, climbing Ben Nevis on the Saturday morning, climbing Scafell Pike that same night and then finishing off by climbing Snowden on Sunday 12th May 2019.

The All Steels Trading Three Peaks team members will include: Adam Grant, Anna Clarkson, Jon Jacobs, Karolina Florek, Lee White, Oscar Munis, Sandra Malecka, Sarah Pritchard, Thomas McDougall and me!

We are fully aware of the gruelling challenge that we have voluntarily all signed ourselves up for here! However, it's in the belief that our physical efforts will help to make a big difference to others. We hope to raise as much sponsorship money as possible for The Prince's Trust. All sponsorship donations will be very much appreciated indeed.  If you wish you can very easily make a kind donation via All Steels Trading’s Three Peaks Challenge JustGiving web page: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/allsteels

Cheers

Laurence McDougall

Managing Director

Christmas Joy at All Steels!

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas
Toys in every store
But we think the prettiest sight to see is the sparkling dressed tree outside All Steels Trading’s front door!

 

Our Future King: Prince Charles at 70

To mark the 70th birthday of Prince Charles, the SJH Group and Royal Correspondent Robert Jobson have produced the commemorative publication Our Future King: Prince Charles at 70. The eye-catching fully illustrated hardback was officially launched on the 14th November in the refined setting of The Ritz London hotel in Piccadilly.

All Steels Trading is delighted to feature as a selected patron in this captivating biography that truly commends the heir to the throne's notorious entrepreneurial spirit.

Celebrating a lifetime of achievement and heralding Prince Charles’s current and future roles and responsibilities, the high-quality, coffee-table book charts the Prince's seven decades; from his early years through to his present status as one the most significant figures on the world stage. The book also gives a detailed look at the many areas in which the Prince has contributed to society through his various charitable associations and includes exclusive pictures from his Royal Tours over the last 18-months.

Furthermore, the publication includes a bespoke and interesting profile about All Steels Trading on pages 148-149! The dedicated editorial contribution also outlines how All Steels Trading shares with the Prince the same values and passion for the next generation of business growth.

EUROMETAL Steel Net Forum

EUROMETAL Steel Net Forum & International Steel Trade Day (9th October 2018) in Hamburg certainly attracted an influential crowd of professionals and stakeholders in the steel market. Naturally, the list of invited conference delegates and speakers included steel aficionado representatives from All Steels Trading!

The International Steel Trade Session for example debated the latest developments in the field of steel trade policy, anti-dumping, steel trade cases, safeguard measures, rising protectionism and their impacts on the steel supply of the European market.  It’s fair to say that All Steels Trading’s Managing Director (Laurence McDougall) in his invited capacity as a steel trading expert panellist helped to deliver some amazing value and insights on such highly topical and relevant matters for the audience!