What is Happening in the World of Stainless Steel

26 January 2021

What is happening in the world of stainless steel
A new year but not quite a new dawn...yet. As we navigate the first few weeks of this unprecedented time in our country’s history, we’ve put together a round-up of market intelligence articles from across Southern Africa and the globe, to guide you through the current storm. Because there will be life - and business - after the lockdown, and world-class information and insight will be key to unlocking value in the Age of COVID-19.

ArcelorMittal South Africa Restarts Vanderbijlpark plant

ArcelorMittal South Africa Restarts Vanderbijlpark plant
ArcelorMittal South Africa's Vanderbijlpark plant in Gauteng Province of South Africa has returned to full production, weeks ahead of its planned restart due to a pick-up in steel demand, with the restart of its second blast furnace in December last year.

ArcelorMittal South Africa said "The company accelerated the restart to December in response to an increase in demand for steel in South Africa and the depleted steel inventories at all stages of the steel supply chain following the Covid-19 lockdowns. A timely restart would help meet the supply of steel to the local industry in the face of the prevailing global steel shortage, with global supply lead times running into the latter part of the second quarter of 2021.”

Industrial Oxygen supply under pressure due to health sector prioritisation

Industrial oxygen supply under pressure due to health sector priorisation
An Engineeringnews.com article reports that Afrox has confirmed that it has adequate reserves of liquid oxygen in storage across South Africa and that it has supplied oxygen as required by public and private hospitals, in all provinces, at substantially higher than normal demand levels.
It has, however, issued a letter to industrial consumers that explains that supply cannot be guaranteed and might become erratic or absent. The article states; “Since oxygen is a lifesaving therapy for infected patients, Afrox has made a moral and ethical decision to prioritise the supply of medical oxygen while the pandemic persists”.

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Mozambique Looks to End Terrorism Threatening Major LNG Projects

Mozambique looks to end terrorism threatening major LNG projects Mozambique's President Filipe Nyusi has held talks with his counterpart in neighbouring Tanzania to prepare a wider regional response to violence from Islamic State-aligned insurgents that threaten the progress of major liquefied natural gas (LNG) projects in Mozambique.
Total told Bloomberg.com in an emailed statement that the company had "temporarily reduced its workforce on-site in response to the prevailing environment".
The Total-led Mozambique LNG Project, for which a US$20-billion Final Investment Decision (FDI) was taken in 2019, is on track to deliver LNG in 2024. In July last year, Total had 
secured as much as US$16 billion in funding for its LNG project in Mozambique despite the supply glut and demand decline in the LNG market.

Industrial sector can no longer afford to delay the adoption of technology

Industrial sector can no longer afford to delay the adoption of technology
If there is one lesson to be learned from the events of 2020, it is that the industry can no longer afford to delay the adoption of technology, both on and off the construction sites.
In South Africa, the pandemic exacted a heavy toll on the construction industry, leading to severe financial hardship and even closure for many companies. Those businesses that survived were forced to drastically change the way they operate to overcome the devastating effects of a stringent five-week lockdown.

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Nickel soars as demand rises and supply falls

Nickel soars as demand rises and supply falls
Demand up. Supply down. Price heading for a 10-year high. It does not get much better for nickel - except for the potential to get a lot better for a metal which has a well-earned reputation for extreme highs (and lows).
Since suffering a Covid-19 collapse last March when the price fell to $10,800 a ton, nickel has been on a largely uninterrupted rise to last sales at $18,244/t, up almost 70% in 10 months.The next target for nickel, which is a critical ingredient in high-quality stainless steel and the batteries used in most electric vehicles (EVs) is $20,000/t - a level reached in early 2012.But, if a move back to levels seen in the last commodities boom sounds unlikely, then get ready for a rise to the great nickel rush of 2007, when the metal hit an all-time high of $50,000/t—before plunging to $9,200/t just two years later.

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International case studies illustrate key role stainless steel could play in SA's future water infrastructure plans
The International Stainless Steel Federation recently hosted a webinar focused on the vital role of stainless steel in water loss reduction. This stems from the fact that around one third of valuable treated drinking water is lost through leaks in distribution systems. Not only in developing cities, even the capital cities of major economies are losing far more water than is sustainable. In Tokyo, Seoul and Taipei they have installed corrugated stainless steel water service pipes; a system which avoids leaking at joints, reduces the number of joints, prevents residues building up in pipework and resists seismic shocks. Even though the impression might be this must be a high cost option, it is not in the long term.
Click here  to watch the podcast and Click here to download the accompanying presentation