Hot Latin Steel Market Starts to Cool, Top Producer Says
(Bloomberg) -- Top Latin American steelmaker Ternium SA just signaled that its record third quarter might be as good as it gets as a dizzying upswing in profits stalls.
After four straight quarters of impressive growth in earnings before items, Ternium expects a slight decrease this quarter as higher raw material costs crimp margins and shipments stabilize, and a more balanced supply-demand environment next year. Its shares sank as much as 14% Wednesday.
Prices of the alloy shot up around the world over the past year or so as a pandemic demand recovery outpaced a rebound in supply. To be sure, prices aren’t about to fall off a cliff. In fact, Ternium expects to book higher revenue per ton thanks to lagging contract prices.
North American volumes are set to be slightly higher this quarter. In Mexico, industrial demand remains solid except in an auto industry rattle by semiconductor scarcity. Demand linked to Mexican construction also continues to weaken. In Argentina, Ternium expects shipments to remain steady in the fourth quarter.
“Looking ahead, after a tight steel market in 2021 the company anticipates a more balanced steel supply-demand environment in 2022, with steady steel demand and a gradual normalization of global supply chains,” Luxembourg-based Ternium said.
Analysts will be seeking more color on a call scheduled for 10 a.m. in New York Wednesday.
©2021 Bloomberg L.P.