Outokumpu comments on SS market

On 28 March, in his review at Outokumpu’s Annual General Meeting on the Group’s 2006 performance, CEO Mr Juha Rantanen also commented on the Group’s first quarter 2007 profitability and the current stainless steel market. In the prevailing favourable market conditions in the first quarter, the Group’s operating profit for the period will be on the record fourth quarter 2006 level, or even higher. Currently, the underlying stainless steel demand continues to be strong. Direct deliveries to end users and project customers are scheduled as far as October and the mills producing specialty products are producing at full capacity. However, as to the standard volume products, distributors are more cautious in placing orders due to their increased inventories, high transaction prices and increased availability of Asian material, leading to lower order books and shortened delivery times for the mills. Due to lower demand from the distribution sector, the standard grades’ base prices have softened from the record high levels of the first months of the year. Outokumpu will continuously monitor the market development and will adjust its actions accordingly.
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