Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Anyone want to buy some steel?

Orders for Steel strip are, excuse the pun “thin on the ground” at the moment. With the annual round of summer closures fast approaching it is unlikely that we will see any improvement in trading until the third quarter at the earliest. It seems incredible to compare the current situation with this time last year, when you could sell a rusty tin if you had one in stock. Who but the bravest or most foolish of us would commit to significant investment in steelmaking?
Anyway it’s hot enough today to cook a steak on the on an unlit barbeque, so here is a quick “news round up” and I am off to find a shady corner of the garden (mm is it too early for a cold beer?)

European stock indexes retreated from three-year highs. Arcelor SA and Corus Group Plc slipped after Japan’s second-largest steelmaker said it will cut export sales because of rising output in China.

Cops to quiz steel firm’s clients
Marc Baker, Wales on Sunday
preparing to interview every company on a Welsh steel firm’s client list in connection with their probe into the firm.Dyfed Powys Police last night said it was at the start of a lengthy investigation of Dyfed Steels Ltd in Llanelli, South Wales. Detectives visited the company’s offices a fortnight ago as part of
their inquiry into alleged irregularities in respect of quality certificates for
steel products issued by the firm, claims strenuously denied by the company.

IC Wales

Mittal seeks to snatch Czech Vitkovice from EvrazMon Jul 11, 2005PRAGUE, July 11
(Reuters) - Mittal Steel (MT.N: Quote, Profile, Research) launched a bid for
Czech manufacturer Vitkovice Steel on Monday, offering more than Russian steel maker Evrazholding which won a government tender last month.Mittal said in a statement it was ready to pay 9 billion crowns ($355 million) for state-owned Vitkovice Steel, one of Europe’s biggest producers of heavy plates, some 2 billioncrowns more than Evraz offered in the already completed tender.Mittal Steel, which is the world’s top steel company and dominates the sector in the Czech Republic, was eliminated from bidding in the tender dueto a legal row over the price of pig iron it sells to Vitkovice Steel.Mittal Steel promised to settle all outstanding disputes with Vitkovice Steel and the state.

10:00 - 11 July
2005An inquest into the deaths of three steel workers killed when a blast furnace exploded at Port Talbot’sCorus plant was due to begin today. Molten metal showered down over workers at the plant when its blast furnace number five erupted in November 2001. Stephen Galsworthy, aged 25, and Andrew Hutin, 20, from Port Talbot, and Len Radford, 53, from Maesteg, all died in the tragic accident. A dozen other workers received serious burns in the explosion, which shook the close-knit community bordering the sprawling plant.

Strike called off
As many as 190,000 South African steel and engineering workers canceled a planned strike after accepting a pay offer, the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa said Monday.

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