US pig iron use will grow after Section 232 tariffs, IMH says

Industrial Metallurgical Holding (IMH) - the Russian company that manages the country’s largest pig iron supplier, Tulachermet - expects that the appetite of the US market for pig iron may increase in the Section 232 fallout, it told Metal Bulletin.

“We can assume that the decision [to impose trade tariffs under Section 232] will significantly increase the utilization rate of steelmaking capacities, 65% of which is [electric-arc furnace] steelmaking that consumes our pig iron,” the company said.

On Thursday March 1, US President Donald Trump announced that the country will impose tariffs of 25% on all steel product imports from next week. The decision follows the Section 232 investigation into imports that could threaten national security.

Adjusted year-to-date production until February 24 shows that mills in the US operated at an average capacity utilization rate of 73.9%, according to the American Iron & Steel Institute.

“The demand for pig iron may increase by around 1.5-2 million tonnes per year, we cautiously assume, according to estimates that capacity utilization in the US is expected to increase to 85% from the current 74%,” IMH told Metal Bulletin.

The US is the world’s largest consumer of merchant pig iron. In 2017, around 5 million tonnes of pig iron was imported into the US, according to the US Census Bureau data.

Metal Bulletin’s export price assessment on March 1 for high-manganese pig iron from the CIS region was $350-365 per tonne fob Black Sea, narrowing from $345-370 per tonne fob Black Sea a week earlier.

What to read next
Steel trading and production have come to a halt in the eastern Turkish region of Iskenderun following a devastating earthquake that hit the region on Monday February 6 and put mills in the area under force majeure, sources told Fastmarkets on Tuesday
A 120-day closure of four Illinois dams scheduled for 2023 will disrupt barge shipments and have potentially both negative and positive impacts on scrap and finished steel products from Canada to Texas
Market participants are cautiously optimistic about a rebound in iron ore concentrate premiums, with steelmakers around the world set to ramp-up production in line with an anticipated increase in demand for steel products, Fastmarkets understands
General Motors (GM) is investing $650 million to develop the Thacker Pass mine in Nevada, the largest known source of lithium in the US and the third largest in the world
Electrolysis processes developed by Boston Metal and Electra that eliminate the need for coal in steel production could be key to a net-zero emissions future for the metallics industry, attendees learned at Fastmarkets’ conference on January 17-19 in Dallas
We use cookies to provide a personalized site experience.
By continuing to use & browse the site you agree to our Privacy Policy.