Work Begins on Nucor Plate Mill
Speaking during the company’s fourth-quarter and full-year earnings call, Topalian said Nucor has teammates stationed in Kentucky and that mill site excavation work is underway.
“The mill is the largest investment in our company's history. And when it begins to operate in 2022, Nucor Steel Brandenburg will be able to produce 97% of the plate products demanded in the United States market,” he said.
Meanwhile, in Missouri, the company has in recent days thrown the switch not only on the EAF but also the ladle metallurgy furnace at the rebar-focused micro-mill in Sedalia.
“Our new teammates there are hitting the ground running, already serving customers with product made from billets. We expect the ramp up to continue to go well,” Topalian said.
On the year, Nucor recorded profits of about US$1.3 billion on net sales of US$22.6 billion. In 2018, it recorded profits of US$2.4 billion on net sales of US$25.1 billion. During the same period, mill shipments declined 6% to 24.9 million metric tons.
The company said falling steel prices and drawdowns of heavy customer inventories weighed on its 2019 results; however, those headwinds appear to be easing.
“We believe that the inventory destocking that occurred throughout most of 2019 concluded in the fourth quarter, when customers resumed more normal buying patterns. Additionally, general business conditions improved in the fourth quarter due to a number of factors, including a rate cut by the Federal Reserve, the new labor agreement between the United Automobile Workers and GM, and definitive progress on the trade front," Topalian said.
"We are encouraged by recent economic trends and confident that our positive momentum will continue in 2020.”