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Metals News

Steel Authority of India swings to profit in Dec quarter

By: Reuters     8th February 2018 Steel Authority of India Ltd posted a profit for the three months ended December on Thursday, snapping ten straight quarters of losses. Net Profit was 431.6-million rupees ($6.72-million), compared with a loss of 7.95-billion rupees in the year-ago period, the company said in a statement.... 

China aims to meet 2020 target for steel capacity cuts this year, warns on resumption

By: Reuters     7th February 2018 China aims to meet its target for reducing steel production capacity two years earlier than planned, the industry ministry said in a statement on Wednesday, as the world's top steel producer ramps up its years-long push to reduce excess output. The original plan called for reducing 150 million... 

Stronger rand deals blow to Hulamin's FY17 earnings

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     6th February 2018 Despite achieving record sales volumes of 233 000 t for the 2017 financial year, local aluminium supplier Hulamin's operating profit is expected to dip below that of the prior year, owing to the significantly stronger rand. "The strengthening of the currency had a negative effect on profits,... 

Stronger rand deals blow to Hulamin's FY17 earnings

EU steel sector sees demand growth in 2018, import threat

By: Reuters     6th February 2018 European steel demand is set to rise in 2018 with continued strength in most steel-using sectors, European steel association Eurofer said on Tuesday, while warning of a threat of rising imports. Apparent steel consumption, which excludes the impact of inventory changes, is set to rise by 1.9% in... 

Steel workers approve Thyssenkrupp-Tata Steel labour deal – source

By: Reuters     5th February 2018 Steel workers at Thyssenkrupp have voted in favour of a labour agreement that will safeguard jobs and plants in a planned joint venture with Tata Steel, a person familiar with the matter told Reuters on Monday. About 20,500 members of German union IG Metall had been asked to vote on the... 

Albeit modest, metals sector poised for second consecutive year of growth 

By: Terence Creamer     2nd February 2018 South Africa’s metals and engineering sector is poised for a second consecutive year of modest growth, with the Steel and Engineering Federation of Southern Africa (Seifsa) forecasting a 1.1% expansion for 2018. The sector grew by 2.7% in 2017, breaking a streak of three consecutive years of... 

Albeit modest, metals sector poised for second consecutive year of growth
Seifsa chief economist Dr Michael Ade on the outlook for the metals and engineering sector in 2018. Camera Work: Nicholas Boyd. Editing: Christo Greyling. Recorded: 2.2.2018

New coal terminal planned for Beira could be a gateway to the east

By: Kim Cloete     2nd February 2018 A coal terminal planned for construction at Mozambique’s Beira port could be a gateway for imports and exports from the landlocked countries of Zimbabwe, Zambia, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Malawi and Botswana and could greatly boost coal exports to India. Essar Ports CEO Tej Nargundkar... 

Showcase of SA's manufacturing prowess to debut in 2019

By: Dylan Slater     2nd February 2018 To showcase the best South Africa has to offer in terms of local manufacturing and South African-produced capital equipment, capital equipment manufactures lobby group the South African Capital Equipment Exporters Council (Saceec) has partnered with exhibition organisers Specialised Exhibitions... 

Swedish steel plant to run on hydrogen

By: Reuters     1st February 2018 Steelmaker SSAB plans to build the world's first fossil fuel-free steel plant powered by hydrogen, backed by utility Vattenfall and miner Luossavaara Kiirunavaara, the Swedish firms said on Thursday. The pilot venture will aim to develop technology to later make SSAB's entire production... 

AMSA weighs asset disposals as losses mount, debt rises and rand strengthens 

By: Terence Creamer     31st January 2018 ArcelorMittal South Africa (AMSA) is considering various asset disposals as part of a plan to strengthen its balance sheet, which remains under pressure as a result of a protracted period of lossmaking, which has endured since 2010. The JSE-listed steelmaker declared another headline loss of... 

AMSA weighs asset disposals as losses mount, debt rises and rand strengthens
New AMSA CEO Kobus Verster on the immediate outlook for the group and initiatives under way to improve prospects for a return to profitability. Camera Work & Editing: Nicholas Boyd. Recorded: 31.1.2018

Zimbabwe to take over steelmaker's $500m debt

By: Reuters     31st January 2018 Zimbabwe plans to take on about $500-million of debt owed by state-owned steelmaker Zimbabwe Iron and Steel Company (Zisco) to allow a new investor to revive the company. Zisco ceased production in 2008 at the height of Zimbabwe's economic meltdown, but under the Zimbabwe Iron and Steel Company... 

Dalian iron-ore near 1-month low, limited impact from icy weather

By: Reuters     30th January 2018 Chinese iron-ore futures ticked higher, but kept near one-month lows on Tuesday, as ample supply of the steelmaking raw material countered transport disruptions caused by heavy snow in the country. Rebar steel prices slipped, touching their lowest in nearly a week at one point. 

Swiss steel firm Schmolz + Bickenbach chosen to buy France's Ascometal

By: Reuters     29th January 2018 Swiss company Schmolz + Bickenbach has been chosen by a Strasbourg court to buy troubled French steelmaker Ascometal, the court said on Monday, with Schmolz + Bickenbach's bid prevailing over a rival one from Liberty House. Ascometal, which makes specialty steel and employs around 1 300 workers,... 

Economisers the key to boiler success

26th January 2018 Fitting an economiser on a boiler is a small addition that can provide big results in terms of helping companies reduce their operating costs and decrease their environmental impact, says heat and energy generation equipment provider Steam Generation Africa MD John Rundle. 

Growing global trend for small, compact and cost-saving VSDs

By: Simone Liedtke     26th January 2018 Owing to a global trend in cost efficiency and going green, drive engineering specialist SEW-Eurodrive sales engineer Sean Tibbott foresees the demand for a small, compact and cost-saving variable-speed drives continuing to grow worldwide. 

Growing global trend for small, compact  and cost-saving VSDs
MOVIGEAR MECHATRONIC DRIVE UNIT The units are able to reduce installation and start-up efforts and costs

High-performance chain offers enhanced strength and reliability

By: Simone Liedtke     26th January 2018 To ensure greater strength and durability, engineering consumables and components distributor BMG’s range of Tsubaki high-performance product chains now includes the robust Workhorse elevator series. 

Increasing energy cost prompts need for drive systems

By: Simone Liedtke     26th January 2018 The ever-rising cost of energy and the increasing pollution associated with power supply systems are continuously driving the need for alternating current drive systems with low harmonics and power regeneration, says Midrand-based variable-speed drive (VSD) and automation equipment supplier... 

Increasing energy  cost prompts need  for drive systems
U1000 MATRIX DRIVE The U1000 matrix drive does not require any additional filtering to achieve low harmonics

Misaligned pulleys affect belt efficiency and life span

By: Simone Liedtke     26th January 2018 Misaligned pulleys are one of the biggest contributors to premature failed belts, negatively affecting drive efficiency and shortening the life of the belt significantly, states engineering consumables and components distributor BMG power transmission GM Carlo Beukes. 

Misaligned pulleys affect  belt efficiency and life span
FENNER DRIVE ALIGNMENT LASER The Fenner Drive Alignment Laser is designed for accurate pulley and sprocket alignment

Motor solutions ensure simpler, more compatible installations

By: Simone Liedtke     26th January 2018 Owing to the installation of electrical products onto panels and enclosures being time-consuming and costly, electric solutions provider Magnet Group MD Brian Howarth says product installations need to be made simpler and more compatible with existing wiring through the supply of cost-effective... 

Motor solutions ensure simpler, more  compatible installations
EASYPACT TVS The EasyPact TVS range encompasses nine sizes of contactors that cover a broad range of current ratings

Multifunction vibration meter redefines vibration screening

26th January 2018 Sandton-based distribution centre Comtest is offering electronic test tools manufacturer and distributor Fluke’s latest vibration meter, the Fluke 805, which provides quantifiable information on a bearing and the overall health of motors and other rotating equipment. 

VFD adoption triggers need for bearing protection rings

By: Simone Liedtke     26th January 2018 As the adoption of variable-frequency drives (VFDs) increases, so too will the need for the reliable mitigation of destructive shaft voltages, which will lead to increased demand for bearing protection rings, says bearing protection solutions provider AEGIS sales and marketing manager Adam... 

Global crude steel output up 5.3% y/y in 2017

By: Schalk Burger     25th January 2018 Global crude steel production increased by 5.3% year-on-year to 1.69-billion tonnes in 2017. Output increased in all regions except for the Commonwealth of Independent States, where production remained flat at about 102.1-million tonnes, the World Steel Association reported this week. 

Japan's record exports, manufacturing, point to powerhouse economy

By: Reuters     24th January 2018 Japan’s exports to China and Asia hit record levels as shipments rose for a thirteenth straight month in December and manufacturing growth hit a four-year high in January, pointing to an economy that powered through the fourth quarter and into 2018. The Ministry of Finance (MOF) said on Wednesday... 

MEIBC changes welcome, but should take employer into consideration

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     23rd January 2018 Although the Metal and Engineering Industries Bargaining Council (MEIBC) main agreement negotiation process, that took place from June to August last year, was riddled with technical issues and procedural hurdles, the extension to all nonparty employers and employees falling within the scope of... 

Japan steel federation: China steel output under control despite record 2017

By: Reuters     22nd January 2018 Japan Iron and Steel Federation chairman Kosei Shindo said on Monday China's steel output remains under control despite record output from the world's top producer in 2017, citing abolition of illegal Chinese steel production and solid local demand. Shindo, who is also president of Nippon Steel &... 

IDC assessing 21 applications under R1.5bn downstream steel incentive

By: Terence Creamer     19th January 2018 The Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) is currently assessing 21 potential transactions, worth a combined R437-million, arising from applications for support under a R1.5-billion industrial financing scheme set up in 2017 to support manufacturers of value-added steel products. The... 

IDC assessing 21 applications under R1.5bn downstream steel incentive

China govt curbs drop avg daily steel output to 12-mth low in Dec

By: Reuters     18th January 2018 China's average daily steel output fell 1.9% in December from the previous month, official data showed on Thursday, touching the lowest level in a year as government-imposed production curbs deepened. Total output climbed to 67.05-million tonnes in December from 66.15-million tonnes in November,... 

Davos paper attacks Trump's views on trade

By: Reuters     17th January 2018 US President Donald Trump's view of world trade will be challenged next week when he visits the World Economic Forum (WEF) at Davos, judging by a paper seen by Reuters on Wednesday that is aimed squarely at his "America First" stance. The "Strategic Brief on Misconceptions around Trade Balances"... 

Gibela moves to Dunnottar plant; takes first manufacturing steps

By: Irma Venter     17th January 2018 Gibela has initiated manufacturing trials of the first locally made train car at the Gibela train factory, in Dunnottar, on the East Rand. The first train’s car body shell – essentially, its panel-clad metal frame – is expected to be completed by the end of the first quarter of 2018, with the... 

Gibela moves to Dunnottar plant; takes first manufacturing steps
Photo by Duane Daws
Work on the first car-body shell has started

Seifsa warns US antidumping duties could hurt local steel industry

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     12th January 2018 The Steel and Engineering Industries Federation of Southern Africa (Seifsa) is worried about the potential impact on the local steel industry of the US Department of Commerce’s (DoC’s) affirmative final determinations in an antidumping duty investigation into imports of carbon and alloy steel... 

Ramaphosa to lead South African delegates at World Economic Forum

By: Dylan Slater     10th January 2018 Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa, who is also the recently elected president of the incumbent African National Congress, will lead a South African delegation to the forty-eighth edition of the World Economic Forum’s yearly meeting, which will be held in Davos-Klosters, in Switzerland, from... 

Ramaphosa to lead South African delegates at World Economic Forum
Photo by Duane Daws
Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa

ArcelorMittal, Competition Commission reach payment agreement

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     18th December 2017 Local steel manufacturer ArcelorMittal South Africa (AMSA) has reached an agreement with the Competition Commission to divide its 2017 payment into three separate tranches of R100-million each. In 2016, the parties reached a settlement agreement after AMSA admitted to being involved in the long... 

Proposed carbon tax ‘least-cost manner’ to ensuring greenhouse-gas reduction – Treasury 

By: Schalk Burger     15th December 2017 The National Treasury released the Second Draft Carbon Tax Bill for public comment on Friday and averred that it “seeks to give effect to the polluter pays principle . . . and will assist, in a least-cost manner, in reducing greenhouse-gas (GHG) emissions and ensuring that South Africa meets its... 

Mobile lab for polymer powders launched

By: Dylan Slater     15th December 2017 Munich-based chemical company Wacker launched a mobile containerised laboratory – MyLab – together with their long-term distributor IMCD in Randburg at the end of November.  

Mobile lab for polymer powders launched
MYLAB LAUNCH Wacker’s MyLab officially opened at its new South African home at IMCD

Steel tycoon considers bid for Rio Tinto's Dunkirk aluminum smelter - sources

By: Reuters     14th December 2017 Liberty House, the industrial and commodities group buying a number of steel assets around the world, is considering a bid for Rio Tinto's aluminium smelter in northern France, the largest in Europe, three sources with direct knowledge of the matter told Reuters. The Dunkirk plant, which the... 

Decreasing employment in South Africa a sign of ‘deeply troubled economy’ – Seifsa

By: African News Agency      13th December 2017 The Steel and Engineering Industries Federation of Southern Africa (Seifsa) said on Tuesday that South Africa’s employment statistics showed signs of a “deeply troubled economy” and was a serious cause for concern. This comes after Statistics South Africa released its Quarterly Employment... 

China steel futures steady, mill output cuts continue

By: Reuters     12th December 2017 Chinese steel futures held steady on Tuesday, but prices for steelmaking raw material iron ore dropped as steel mills in the world's top producer cut output. China's government has vowed to clear its air, ordering 28 cities to curb industrial production, prompting a shortage of supplies in some... 

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