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Thyssenkrupp optimistic on talks with customers to raise long-term contract prices

Highlights

Delay in benefitting from spot price rises

Shipments to decline in next quarter due to BF reline

Outlook for rest of business year strong

German steelmaker Thyssenkrupp Steel Europe is optimistic about increasing prices under current longer-term contract negotiations with customers as the full scope of higher steel spot prices is not reflected in existing contracts, Thyssenkrupp CFO Klaus Keysberg said Aug. 11.

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On an earnings call following the company's third-quarter results (April-June 2021), Keysberg said that Thyssenkrupp's exposure to the steel spot market is 10%, meaning that for contracts of over six months it takes time for higher steel prices to be factored into contracts.

"Our long-term contract structures mean there is a delay in increased raw material and steel prices feeding through to our revenues and earnings. In addition, there were temporary production restrictions, largely due to the relining of blast furnace 1 initiated in Duisburg in the third quarter," said Keysberg.

"The positive effect on earnings will come. We'll just see it later than our competitors," Keysberg added.

The daily Platts assessment for hot-rolled coil stood at Eur1,150/mt EXW Ruhr Aug. 11, having increased by Eur465/mt since the beginning of 2021.

Thyssenkrupp's average revenue per metric ton has increased from an index of 129 in Q2 to 140 in Q3 this year.

Order intake at the steel division increased by 2.1% quarter on quarter to Eur2.4 billion, up 74% year on year as the year-ago quarter was heavily impacted by a pandemic-related demand drop.

Crude steel production fell 2.3% from Q2 to 2.8 million mt due to temporary production restrictions in the reporting period. Cold-rolled shipments amounted to 1.7 million mt in Q3, down 2% on the quarter but up 45.8% year on year. Hot-rolled shipments were down from 970,000 mt in Q2 to 965,000 mt in Q3 this year, and up from 545,000 mt in Q3 2020.

The steel unit benefitted from an increase in demand from the automotive and component supply industries as well as from industrial customers and steel service centers.

Shipments and production in Q4 are expected to fall due to the current relining of one of the company's major blast furnaces, which will be finished in mid-September, Keysberg said.

Import restrictions into Europe will support domestic sales in the region for the full year, Thyssenkrupp said, while steel demand is expected to remain strong.