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Sales volumes dented at Schnitzer Steel Industries

United States – Compared with the same period in the previous financial year, ferrous sales volumes tumbled 27% in the three months to end-February 2015 at Schnitzer Steel Industries, Inc., one of the largest manufacturers and exporters of recycled ferrous metal products in North America. The company’s non-ferrous sales volumes were 20% lower when making the same comparison.

Ferrous sales volumes amounted to some 750 000 tons for the quarter, with the drop of 20% from the previous three months attributed primarily to ‘weaker export demand, the impact of the lower price environment on scrap supply and the timing of shipments’.

The non-ferrous total of 108 million pounds, or just short of 50 000 tonnes, represented a decline of 15% from the September-November 2014 period. During the latest December-February quarter, market selling prices for recycled metals ‘experienced the steepest drop since 2008 with ferrous sales prices falling as much as US$ 100 per ton from first quarter levels’, the company points out.

The fall was driven, it adds, by a combination of: softer global steel markets owing to over-production; the strong US dollar; lower iron ore prices; and weaker demand in end markets. Furthermore, harsh winter weather in parts of the USA hampered supply flows in the metals recycling business while the labour slowdown at US West Coast ports also had an impact.

The company has announced a strategic initiative to integrate its auto parts and metal recycling businesses into a single division by the end of the 2015 fiscal year. The move is intended to ‘further optimize the efficiencies in our operating platform, enable additional synergies to be captured throughout our supply chain and global sales channel, and more effectively leverage our shared services platform’.

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