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matalco.com

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About Matalco

Matalco is a producer of high-quality homogenized 6XXX series aluminum logs and cut billets for the aluminum extrusion and forging manufacturing industries using world-class remelt technology.

Matalco Headquarters Location

850 Intermodal Drive

Brampton, Ontario, L6T 0B5,

Canada

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Latest Matalco News

RMDAS figures show March surge in ferrous prices

Mar 21, 2022

RMDAS figures show March surge in ferrous prices Major grades gain between $120 and $180 per ton in value and reach levels not seen since the “super cycle” peak of mid-2008. Ferrous scrap prices soared in the March trading period, reaching heights not seen since the peak of the commodities “super cycle” of 2007 and the first half of 2008. Figures compiled by the Raw Material Data Aggregation Service (RMDAS) of Management Science Associates Inc. (MSA) between Feb. 21 and March 20 reflect the impact of commodities sector turmoil caused by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine on Feb. 24. The national average of prompt ferrous scrap, as gauged by transactions known to Pittsburgh-based MSA, checked in at $703 per ton. That $181 per ton increase represents a 34.7 percent leap from the $522 average in the Jan. 21 to Feb. 20 trading period. Prices for obsolete grades also rose significantly, though at slightly smaller percentages. Shredded scrap went from $475 to $599 per ton, marking a 26.1 percent increase for the grade. No. 1 heavy melting steel, similarly, rose 29.4 percent by moving from $421 per ton in the February buying period to $545 per ton in March. The volatility in nonferrous  and ferrous scrap markets is tied to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and subsequent sanctions , which continue to create direct effects and side effects still rippling into new parts of the global pond in mid-March. The scaling back of steel production in Ukraine occurred swiftly. On March 3, ArcelorMittal confirmed it had “taken the decision to idle its steelmaking operations in Kryvyi Rih, Ukraine.” Most other metals production in that nation also has been scaled back or come to a halt, according to media reports. Soon thereafter, the curtailment of natural gas shipments to Western Europe led to mill cutbacks. AP has reported that Italy’s Acciaierie Venete shut three of its steel mills when energy prices “spiked to 10 times above normal.” The news service quotes an executive with the firm as saying, “Never, ever has this happened that we had to shut down ovens.” The Russian attack on Ukraine and the growing consensus that China’s steel-intensive apartment tower construction boom has met an abrupt braking process likely has steel producers and scrap processors in the U.S. glad to be part of an industry with at least some measure of self-containment. On the domestic front, in the week ending March 5, 1.76 million net tons of steel were produced  in the U.S., according to AISI, with a mill capability utilization rate (capacity rate) at exactly 80 percent. The tonnage figure is up 0.4 percent from the previous week ending Feb. 26, when production was 1.75 million net tons, and the capacity rate was 79.7 percent. The following week (ending March 12), production at U.S. mills did decline by 1.4 percent compared with the prior week—not a figure to be expected when scrap prices are increasing from 25 to 35 percent. Overall, U.S. steel output looks similar to what was happening in the steel industry in America one year ago. Production was 1.76 million net tons in the week ending March 5, 2021, while the mill capacity rate at that time was 77.7 percent. The current week's production represents a 0.1 percent increase from the same period one year ago. However, the domestic market cannot be separated from the scramble by steel mills in Turkey, Europe and Asia to source U.S. scrap. Year-end data  from the U.S. Census Bureau show that some 17.9 million metric tons of ferrous scrap was exported in 2021. Thus, events overseas remain vitally important to processors in terms of trading patterns and pricing. Economic sanctions are far from a recent invention, with naval blockades having existed for nearly as long as have warships. Part of what blockades and sanctions reveal is the vital importance of raw materials in war and in peace. In the run-up to World War II, as Nazi Germany, Fascist Italy and Imperial Japan invaded neighboring nations, the United States invoked sanctions before Pearl Harbor triggered formal declarations of war. The withholding of oil was painful to all three Axis nations, but a halt in metal, minerals and scrap materials also played a role. In Germany, the need for nickel led to a Canada-based swindle that left a German buyer without the necessary metal. (This trade of what scrap dealers might call a “salted load” is the subject of a 2016 book called “Hustling Hitler” by Walter Shapiro.) By the early 1940s, streetlights and lampposts in Tokyo and other large Japanese cities were being removed in an attempt to supply its raw materials-starved melt shops. The 2020 book “Mussolini’s War” by British historian John Gooch provides a statistical portrayal of how Italy’s war production effort was vastly underperforming in part because of a lack of scrap metal. As Europe went to war in the autumn of 1939, Gooch writes that for the Italian steel industry, “Scrap iron [supplies] fell short by 42,000 tons a month” and that “partly as a result, monthly steel output fell in October by 50,000 tons to a total of 110,000 tons, which was 30,000 tons less than the minimum amount required.” The underfed melt shops of Japan and Italy contrasted starkly with what would be labeled the arsenal of democracy ramping up in the U.S. In America, the iron range of Minnesota, copper mines in the U.S. West and generous supplies of domestic scrap materials saw its wartime production far surpass the estimates calculated by functionaries in Axis nation government bureaus. The global response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is not poised to produce this sharp contrast. Russia is a net exporter of numerous raw materials (including oil and scrap metal), so the boomerang effect of the sanctions is all too real, especially in Europe . For scrap recyclers, the ripple effects of sanctions made an immediate impact in the form of nickel, copper and aluminum price volatility. For several days, scale pricing and transaction pricing were clouded by uncertainty. (Again, especially in Europe , where metal is commonly traded on the London Metal Exchange.) Beyond that, buyers of scrap metal, cardboard and plastic within the U.S. are unlikely to think of the sanctions on a daily basis as they collect and process materials. Global traders, on the other hand, find themselves with a new list of considerations as they attempt to match materials with the best offshore market. In the financial press, the hunt seems already to have started to discover and unveil people and companies working around the sanctions. The German news service Deutsch Welle (DW) posted an article  in mid-March with the somewhat provocative headline “Swiss commodities traders help fill Putin's war coffers.” Through two world wars and the Cold War, Switzerland wore its neutrality like a badge of honor. Scrutiny such as that raised in the DW article indicates some of the luster may be fading from that badge in the minds of many. The best outcome, nearly everyone can agree, is for a swift end to combat, leading to a phase where sanctions can be peeled back rather than continuing to accumulate. In the meantime, however, scrap commodity traders will be part of a global network poised to receive a great deal more attention than it does in more stable times. Russia’s invasion of Ukraine Feb. 24 has led to volatility in the nonferrous markets, particularly for nickel . The London Metal Exchange suspended trading of the metal from March 8 through March 15, with LME CEO Matthew Chamberlain citing “further unprecedented overnight increases in the three-month nickel price” for the decision. Nickel rose from $48,078 per metric ton March 7 to more than $100,000 per metric ton March 8 because Chinese company Tsingsang Group moved to reduce its short position of nearly 100,000 metric tons of the metal over a few hours, according to Davis Index , which cites suggestions in media reports. March 15, when the LME announced that its nickel contracts would resume trading at 8 a.m. London time March 16, it also said it would be applying daily upper and lower price limits of 8 percent, which it increased to 12 percent March 17 , to those contracts as well as to “all outright contracts in all base metals.” It also deferred delivery to March 23 for all nickel contracts entered into before March 16. For other based metals contracts, which included aluminum and copper, the LME established a 15 percent upper and lower daily limit. Copper and aluminum also reached new highs during LME trading March 8. According to Agence France-Presse (AFP), aluminum reached $4,026 per metric ton ($1.83 per pound), which marked “the first time the lightweight metal had breached $4,000.” AFP says copper also hit a new record, reaching $10,845 per metric ton ($4.92 per pound). In the U.S. copper scrap sector, Brian Shine, CEO of Manitoba Corp. , Lancaster, New York, says, “It is interesting because in some respects, nothing is going on, and, in other respects, a lot is going on.” The wild fluctuations in the market are not producing the types of responses they normally would, he adds. “Shockingly, when we see the big market increases, we are not being offered a lot of metal,” Shine says. “That is normally what happens.” Consuming customers also are not calling for more metal when the price recedes. “We are not seeing those market-driven responses in supply and demand,” he says. “When people need metal, they call you regardless of whether the market is up or down.” Historically, Shine says, a movement of a penny or two up or down would compel scrap sellers and buyers to action. But, for the last six to eight months, he says, movements of 10 cents aren’t spurring action. Instead, he says he believes consumers are reacting to their book of business, while yards are moving their loads once they are built for cash flow and market-related reasons. Despite the current uncertainty introduced by the war in Ukraine, Shine says sentiment in the copper market remains bullish given the infrastructure investments and new opportunities created by increased production of electric vehicles and the transition to green energy. Additionally, he says the situation is adding momentum to a trend that emerged earlier in the pandemic of reshoring manufacturing activity. “Some of our customers or our customers’ customers have seen improved orders in North America because they cannot get metal out of Russia.” Presently, however, Shine says scrap generation still has not returned to pre-COVID levels, and scrap processors are seeing transportation and personnel costs increase, he says, which are affecting margins. Chad Kripke, president of the Toledo, Ohio-based brokerage firm Kripke Enterprises Inc. , says aluminum is in tight supply, with a deficit having been projected in LME stocks for the year. It could get tighter if smelters in Europe must curtail production because of energy-related issues, which have been made even more pronounced by sanctions on Russian oil and natural gas. “There is a legitimacy for prices to remain at this level or higher, especially as smelters’ capacity constraints continue.” Kripke adds, “The extreme volatility in the traded price of primary aluminum has led to a wide range of prices for items that track with the LME. Prices and spreads for the same items are all over the board as buyers try to reestablish proper values for these grades of scrap.”  Pittsburgh-based United States Steel Corp. has issued first quarter 2022 guidance projecting adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) of approximately $1.3 billion. U.S. Steel calls that “a new all-time record for the first quarter.” “We expect to deliver another strong quarter of safety, adjusted EBITDA, free cash flow and operational performance in the first quarter,” says David B. Burritt, the company’s president and CEO. “At the beginning of the year, we communicated expected market softness for the first quarter, along with the normal seasonal impacts related to our mining operations. We are exiting the first quarter with spot business accelerating, steel prices rising, and the longest backlog at our Big River Steel operations since October.” In addition to the strong performance of the scrap-fed electric arc furnace (EAF) Big River Steel business unit, U.S. Steel’s sales and profitability could be abetted by the impacts of Russia’s attack on Ukraine and subsequent economic sanctions. States Burritt, “As a result of continued execution of our differentiated commercial strategy, we are realizing significant upside on our fixed price contracts. We expect improving market conditions to continue into the second quarter as seasonal demand picks up and buyers begin to shift their attention to a more reliable, regional steel supply given the geopolitical risks and cost volatility which has increased in recent weeks.” He adds, “The conflict in Ukraine is a human tragedy. Safety remains our number one priority. Our employees in Slovakia remain safe and we are demonstrating our culture of caring by assisting our Ukrainian neighbors through various charitable activities. The workforce in Slovakia has been quick to address refugee needs by supplying over 7,840 meals for refugees in Slovakia, working with Ukrainian suppliers to send 17 tons of food to Ukraine, and providing 800 beds for refugees arriving in Kosice [the site of U.S. Steel’s mill in Slovakia].” Concludes Burritt, “We are actively monitoring the conflict in Ukraine for impacts and risks to our people and business. Today’s market dynamics reinforce what makes U. S. Steel’s business model unique. Our low-cost, captive iron ore assets in Minnesota are a sustainable competitive advantage that cannot be replicated by the competition. We are increasingly translating this competitive advantage to our growing fleet of electric arc furnaces. We are building a pig iron machine at Gary Works to supply Big River Steel with up to 50 percent of its ore-based metallics needs by the first half of 2023 and will continue to identify additional opportunities to broaden our metallics strategy. These actions build upon the regionally sourced, low-cost iron ore advantage our U.S. blast furnaces have and the strategy in place with Big River Steel to supplement a portion of their prime scrap needs with home scrap from our integrated operations. We remain bullish for 2022 and another strong year of financial performance.” The company says “recent geopolitical events are increasing spot steel demand, particularly at our Big River Steel operations, resulting in a growing backlog of orders. Considering the conflict in Ukraine and its impact on the global metallics supply, our raw material inventories remain well positioned to continue meeting customer demand and contingency plans are in place to ensure raw materials are available from alternate sources.” Canada-based Matalco, which operates several scrap-fed aluminum production facilities, now has freight rail service at its Wisconsin Rapids, Wisconsin, plant. Matalco received a $400,000 grant from the Wisconsin Department of Transportation’s Transportation Economic Assistance program to help fund the Canadian National rail spur. According to an online report from the Wisconsin Rapids Tribune, the total cost of the project as slightly more than $700,000. The company’s Wisconsin Rapids plant started up  in late 2020 and has been designed to produce up to 120,000 tons of secondary aluminum billet annually. The newspaper quotes Robert Roscetti of Matalco as saying, “Completion of this rail link will allow us to receive raw materials and ship completed product in a more cost-effective manner.” The rail spur is described on the Wisconsin Department of Transportation website as an “extension of two existing industrial lead rail tracks by 2,000 feet to bring them to Matalco’s [facility].”

Matalco Acquisitions

2 Acquisitions

Matalco acquired 2 companies. Their latest acquisition was Ohio Valley Aluminum Company on February 02, 2022.

Date

Investment Stage

Companies

Valuation
Valuations are submitted by companies, mined from state filings or news, provided by VentureSource, or based on a comparables valuation model.

Total Funding

Note

Sources

2/2/2022

$99M

Acquired

1

1/29/2018

Debt

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$99M

$99M

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10

Date

2/2/2022

1/29/2018

Investment Stage

Debt

Companies

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Valuation

$99M

$99M

Total Funding

$99M

Note

Acquired

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Sources

1

10

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