ArcelorMittal expects global apparent steel consumption in 2021 to grow by 4.5-5.5% compared to a 1% decline in 2020, the world’s largest steelmaker said on February 11.
ArcelorMittal believes that consumption will continue to grow across its core market as economic activity gradually improves in the second half of 2020 and access restriction measures ease. After an extended period of inventory reduction that began at the end of 2019, the global steel industry is now benefiting from massive inventory replacements worldwide across its entire customer base, with real demand also growing after apparent demand picks up.
ArcelorMittal’s total steel shipments in Q4 2020 were 17.3 million tonnes, down 1% from 17.5 million tonnes in Q3 2020. On a comparable basis, with the exception of ArcelorMittal in the US (following the sale to Cleveland Cliffs on December 9, 2020), steel shipments in Q4 2020 increased 1.5% to 15.5 million tonnes, up from 15.3 million tonnes in the third quarter of 2020. ArcelorMittal reported strong Q4 results with EBITDA of $ 1.7 billion (almost double the Q4 2019 level) and ended 2020 with $ 6.4 billion in net debt, the lowest. since 2006. This allowed the company to resume its dividend payout with an initial 30 cents per share payment in June, in addition to its $ 570 million share buyback program.
“Achieving our $ 7 billion net debt target marks the end of a long-term debt reduction program and the start of a new phase that will allow the company to focus on delivering sustainable shareholder returns as it continues to transform into the future. This process will be supported by the changes that we have made to our portfolio, improving the quality of its potential return, as well as investments we make in high-growth projects and markets such as India, Mexico, Brazil and Liberia, ”said Lakshmi N. Mittal , executive chairman of ArcelorMittal.
“The combination of our stronger balance sheet, targeted growth profile and competitive price positioning underpins our commitment to deliver more consistent margins throughout the cycle. They also position the company as a leading role in the industry’s transition to low-emission steel as part of our commitment to zero emissions by 2050. 2020 was the year we saw a further acceleration in the decarbonization of the global economy, ”added Mittal.
“Ahead of COP26, an increasing number of countries are now making commitments with a net zero – it is imperative that these commitments are now accompanied by policies that ensure success. While we must continue to tackle COVID-19, I expect 2021 to be another year of progress for the company, ”he said.
ArcelorMittal’s Board of Directors also announced Aditya Mittal, currently President, CFO and CEO of ArcelorMittal Europe, as the company’s new Chief Executive Officer. This move was pre-planned and anticipated by the market.
“The world is transforming at a very fast pace, and this change creates challenges, but also creates many opportunities for ArcelorMittal. I look forward to this next chapter, “the new CEO said during a conference call on February 11.” I am focused on keeping us performing well and the biggest challenge of the day is how we decarbonize the steel industry. ”
Aditya Mittal, son of Lakshmi N. Mittal, joined the company in 1997 from Credit Suisse, where he worked in the investment banking division. He identified the possibility of a merger between Arcelor and Mittal Steel and spearheaded the merger proposal that resulted in the creation of ArcelorMittal. In addition to being Chief Financial Officer of ArcelorMittal, he took over operational responsibilities first as CEO of ArcelorMittal Americas and then as CEO of ArcelorMittal Europe. He was named President in 2018.