NEW YORK Nucor Corp.
views the growing number of planned domestic oil country
tubular goods (OCTG) mills as an "opportunity" for its
flat-rolled segment, its top executive said during the
companys first-quarter earnings call.
"We do believe that theres
a significant amount of OCTG coming online. We do believe that
that will create an opportunity for our flat-rolled mills, and
we are certainly pursuing that very aggressively," president
and chief executive officer John Ferriola said April 18.
"We are working with our
existing customers and were very aggressively working
with potential customers to be their supplier," he added.
Ferriolas comments come at
a time of growing OCTG capacity. Luxembourg-based Tenaris SA
recently announced that it will build a $1.5-billion,
600,000-tonne-per-year mill in Bay City, Texas, while
Paderborn, Germany-based Benteler Steel/Tube GmbH is planning a
$900-million OCTG facility in Caddo, La. A number of other
players, including Moscow-based United Metallurgical Co. (OMK)
and Boulogne-Billancourt, France-based Vallourec SA, are in the
process of ramping up new domestic OCTG mills (
amm.com, April 12).
As a result of the potential
output growth, Charlotte, N.C.-based Nucor has made a number of
investments to ready its facilities to supply OCTG makers. For
example, it has added a vacuum-tank degasser at its Hickman,
Ark., sheet mill.
"The feedback were getting
from our customers and our potential customers (is) that they
also believe we are well-prepared to meet their needs in the
future," Ferriola said.
One potential impediment to the
industrys growth, however, is the heavy inflow of foreign
OCTG entering the domestic market. Nucor shares the concerns of
large pipe and tube manufacturers on this front, Ferriola
"Thats a challenge not
only for that industry, but for us," Ferriola said. "We are
working with that industry to take action to get that
Pipe and tube producers said in
earnings calls late last year that a trade case against Korean
OCTG producers, the largest overseas suppliers of the domestic
market, was in the works. Some sources said that a filing was
"imminent" earlier this year (
amm.com, Jan. 16), although that has not
materialized yet. Korean mills deny that they are dumping their
products in the U.S. market (
amm.com, March 19).
Import license applications for OCTG from Korea stood at
69,533 tonnes in March, according to data from the U.S.
Department of Commerces Import Administration, up from
55,751 tonnes the same month last year.