Mill Surcharges: Surcharges announced for January went down another $.06 for 304 and $.063 for 316 by North American Stainless with similar announcements by Allegheny Technologies and Outokumpu Stainless. They each have slightly different calculations, slight pennies different but with similar results up and down. Nickel specifically looks to be rising slightly through January. Starting at $4.74/lb and as of the 28th $5.37/lb on the spot market. NAS announced surcharges for February that dropped less than $0.005 for 304 and $0.016 for 316L.
High Definition plasma: JACQUET West is pleased to announce that we have reinstated High Definition plasma cutting up through 3.0” thick. For a slight additional charge we offer high definition plasma cutting with cleaner edges and less taper. High definition plasma cutting is a nice option between standard plasma cutting and water jet cutting with a cost closer to plasma and relatively affordable.
On Time Delivery: On Time Delivery (OTD) has been a sore spot for many metal service centers over the years. Some do very well keeping above 90 or 95% on an on-going basis. JACQUET West has been plagued with infrastructure and equipment problems over the years, and has had a poor reputation for OTD. We are located near a refinery, which seems to affect the electrical power grid in the area, especially considering the high voltage and heavy power needed to run our processing equipment. Over the past year we have invested in electrical “conditioners” in front of our main processing equipment. Invested in a strong machine maintenance program and replaced some of the older electrical wiring and equipment. We think we have minimized the electrical issues and improved our up time. For 2018 we finished with 93% On Time Delivery for the year.
Import tariffs have hit most imports of stainless steel including from Europe, Asia (inc China, S. Korea and Japan), and South America. We buy from domestic mills when we can but also buy from a European mill that is subject to tariffs. Even with a 25% tariff they are competitive with one domestic mill. And they are the only mill that can produce material above 3” thick. They produce material up to 6” thick in a wide variety of grades. Interesting note that tariffs have not hit nickel alloys, because they are not considered a “steel” The Purchasing Managers Index (PMI) issued by the Institute of Supply Management (ISM), is at 54.1 as of the end of December. Anything above 50 is a positive sign. It was at 59.3 at the end of November. This 5 point drop has created some concern with economists, could that foreshadow a slow down?
JACQUET West is pleased to announce it’s participation in numerous trade shows including: Power Gen Show, FabTech Show, West Tech Show as well as attending some of the Design-2-Part Shows, AeroDef Show, Wine & Grape Symposium, AG Show and more.
Allegheny Technologies moved from an operating loss of $91 million in 2017, to a $220 million profit in 2018. With the exception of their HRPF, the balance of their major markets, especially aerospace, where strong and quite busy. Their HRPF (Hot Rolled & Processing Facility) is only running at 40% capacity. Their planned joint venture with the Indonesion affiliate of the Chinese Tsingshan Group has been hampered by the Section 232 tariffs. They have applied for exemptions from the tariffs and three domestic mills have filed rebuttals, but the final ruling has not been issued yet.