José Benito de Vega | Acerinox enjoyed a very positive stock market evolution up to 1 October compared to the Ibex 35 (+8.8% compared to -6.3% for the index ). Since then its shares have corrected strongly, losing 32%, leaving its relative performance for the year in negative (-28% compared to -12% for the Ibex). This sharp correction has been driven by doubts about the situation of the sector in Europe.
Acerinox recently celebrated its Capital Markets Day, in which it confirmed its strategy based geographical diversification of its plants (distributed over 4 continents), a policy of differential investment, the control of costs and strengthening its balance sheet, with a special stress on the generation of cash. Its exposure to the US, where the fundamentals remain solid, amounts to around 45% of its sales.
The CEO of Acerinox reiterated current week the risks which the European steel sector has been highlighting for years, given that the arrival of steel from China is detrimental to their interests. He said he expects the company’s 2017 results to be significantly higher than those of 2016, driven by the recovery in prices and in demand.
Indonesia has announced that it is going to ease up its export ban on nickel ore. It appears it is going to allow nickel miners to export as long as they dedicate at least 30 percent of their smelter capacity to processing low-grade ore, defined as below 1.7 percent nickel. For Spanish Acerinox, as well as the rest of the stainless steel sector, this news is very negative as it will put downwards pressure on nickel prices.