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U.S. Steel’s 4Q15 Shipments Slid on Pressure from Imports

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Jan. 28 2016, Updated 3:31 p.m. ET

U.S. Steel’s 4Q15 shipments

Shipments are a key driver of steel companies’ performance. Generally, shipments depend on demand from end consumers as well as any portfolio actions undertaken by the company. However, steel companies’ shipments have been negatively impacted by the higher amount of steel imports amid decent end user demand. Let’s see how U.S. Steel’s (X) shipments shaped up in 4Q15.

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Shipments fell

  • The graph above shows the falling trend in U.S. Steel’s steel shipments. In 4Q15, the company shipped 3.7 million metric tons of steel to outside customers, a year-over-year (or YoY) decline of more than 19%. All three of U.S. Steel’s business segments—Flat-Rolled, Tubular, and Europe—saw a decline in steel shipments on a YoY basis.
  • Other steel companies also reported fewer steel shipments in 4Q15. AK Steel (AKS) reported an 18% YoY decline in steel shipments in 4Q15 while Steel Dynamics’ (STLD) 4Q15 shipments fell 16% YoY. US (DIA) steel production has fallen steeply in 4Q15. ArcelorMittal (MT) might also report fewer steel shipments in the quarter.
  • U.S. Steel’s 4Q15 shipments also registered a sequential fall. As compared to 3Q15, the company’s shipments fell ~4% in 4Q15. However, the sequential drop in U.S. Steel’s shipments was smaller as compared to other steel companies. AK Steel and Steel Dynamics reported 11.5% and 12.5% fewer steel shipments, respectively, in 4Q15 as compared to the previous quarter.

Average steel selling price is another key aspect you should watch in steel company earnings. In the next part of the series, we’ll see how U.S. Steel’s average steel selling prices shaped up in 4Q15 and what 2016 could bring for this key metric.

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