Home Commodities Cleveland-Cliffs Expects Strong Steel Shipments in 2024 — Commodity Comment

Cleveland-Cliffs Expects Strong Steel Shipments in 2024 — Commodity Comment

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Published: Jan. 29, 2024 at 6:32 p.m. ET

By Stephen Nakrosis

Cleveland-Cliffs on Monday said it was expecting strong steel shipments this year, with anticipated steel shipments rising slightly from last year.

On 2023 steel demand:

Lourenco…

By Stephen Nakrosis

Cleveland-Cliffs on Monday said it was expecting strong steel shipments this year, with anticipated steel shipments rising slightly from last year.

On 2023 steel demand:

Lourenco Goncalves, chairman, president and chief executive, said steel demand stayed healthy in 2023, adding the company’s most important market — the automotive sector — performed well. “Even with the UAW labor strike late in Q3 and into Q4, automotive steel demand remained consistently strong, as we anticipated. After it was clear that the strike was not creating any real issues in the marketplace, non-automotive clients de-stocking their inventories betting on lower steel prices were compelled to buy steel at higher prices,” he said.

The company’s 2023 total steel shipments of 16.4 million tons “set a record since we became a steel company in 2020.”

On 2024 outlook:

Cleveland-Cliffs said it was expecting 2024 steel shipment volumes of 16.5 million net tons, slightly above the 16.4 million net tons shipped in 2023. The company also was anticipating steel unit cost reductions of about $30 per net ton in 2024.

Goncalves said, “Going forward, and assuming a fair scrap marketplace — free from artificial, provoked and hard-to-explain moves — with scrap demand growing and scrap supply shrinking, there is no good reason for scrap prices to go down. If true supply and demand for scrap in the U.S. prevails, there is no good reason for HRC prices to go below $1,000 per net ton.”

Write to Stephen Nakrosis at stephen.nakrosis@wsj.com

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