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Steel Dynamics expects record Q3 earnings amid surging HRC prices

Steel Dynamic Inc.'s steel operations are expected to report record earnings in the third quarter, the company said Sept. 15, as US hot-rolled coil prices have reached new highs throughout 2021.

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SDI expects overall Q3 earnings to be in the range of $4.78 to $4.82 per diluted share, also representing a record quarterly performance, it said. By comparison, SDI reported net income of 47 cents per diluted share, or $100 million, in the year-ago quarter on sales of $2.3 billion.

Profits in the company's steel mills segment are expected to be "meaningfully higher" than in Q2, with the increase attributed to "significant metal spread expansion" across the company's product categories, most notably in flat-rolled products.

Since the end of the prior quarter June 30, US HRC prices have risen roughly 12% and have increased by 93% year-to-date, according to S&P Global Platts steel pricing data. The daily Platts TSI US HRC index stood at $1,949.75/st on an ex-works Indiana basis Sept. 14.

Domestic steel demand remains strong, with the automotive, construction, and industrial sectors continuing to lead the momentum, SDI said.

"Order entry continues to be robust as strong demand, coupled with continuing low flat roll steel inventories underpin elevated steel selling values," SDI said. "The company believes this momentum will continue, resulting in even stronger fourth quarter results."

Q3 earnings from the company's metals recycling operations are expected to be aligned with Q2 results, based on higher sequential ferrous metal margin offsetting lower volume, the company said. SDI's metals recycling segment reported operating income of $28 million in Q2.