Sunday, June 26, 2016

Nucor Looking to Step Up Foreign Steel Expansion in Automotive

Nucor is one of those American Stories that deserves telling.  I always refer people to the great book American Steel: Hot Metal Men and the Resurrection of the Rust Belt by Richard Preston. Preston does a great job describing the roots of company.  He also details the company's efforts to implement the latest German technology of a continuous rolling mill.  I was so impressed I bought stock in the company.  (I don't own any at the present).

So, it doesn't surprise me to find out that Nucor is expanding outside our borders.
Nucor Corp. is looking to supply more metal products to carmakers outside the U.S. as the country’s biggest steelmaker anticipates a cooling domestic auto market.

“There’s no rule at Nucor that says we have to keep making what we’re making and we have to keep making it where we’re making it,” CEO John Ferriola said in an interview this week in New York.

The Charlotte, N.C.-based steelmaker recycles scrap in relatively small electric furnaces nicknamed mini mills. Until recently, that process has not been able to create the blemish-free flexible steel used by automakers for external car parts.

But Nucor has replaced some scrap with a type of iron refined with natural gas and removed contaminants from steel made from scrap, enabling it to compete in the market that’s been dominated by integrated steelmakers like U.S. Steel Corp. that start with iron ore and coke made from coal.

Last week, Nucor unveiled a $270 million joint venture with Japan’s JFE Holdings Inc. to produce steel for carmakers at a plant in Mexico.
Personally, I'd like to see Nucor stay and take advantage of our cheap natural gas.

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