ArcelorMittal Remains Upbeat As U.S. Steel Tariffs Drive Up Price

- Nov 02, 2018-

Arcelor reported a 42 percent year-on-year increase in third-quarter core profit (EBITDA) to $2.73 billion, roughly in-line with analyst expectations, while sales rose 5 percent to $18.5 billion.

The steel market has been impacted this year by the 25 percent import tariffs put in place by U.S. President Donald Trump to try to reduce imports from China and Europe.

ArcelorMittal makes steel in the United States and has said that it benefited on balance from these protectionist measures, as they raise prices.

“Market conditions in the third quarter remained favorable,” Chief Executive Lakshmi Mittal said in a statement on Thursday. “We continue to see robust real demand and healthy utilization rates across all steel segments.”

The group stuck to its earlier prediction that global apparent steel consumption — a measure of production and trade flows — would increase by 2 to 3 percent in 2018, leading to a continued improvement in results. It did not give any more detail on its outlook.

Steel tariffs worked to Arcelor’s advantage in the third quarter, as 5 percent higher prices offset an equally large decline in steel shipments in the North American region, as the U.S. market weakened.

Total shipments of steel also fell 5 percent in the July-September period, due to supply problems stemming from a disruptive power outage in France and a furnace blast in Poland.

But as crude steel production edged up 0.5 percent from the previous quarter, Arcelor said it expected shipments to grow again in the last three months of 2018.

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