SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION
WASHINGTON, D.C. 20549
ANNUAL REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934 FOR THE FISCAL YEAR ENDED
TRANSITION REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934
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DOCUMENTS INCORPORATED BY REFERENCE
Portions of registrant’s definitive proxy statement referenced in Part III, Items 10 through 14 of this report, to be filed prior to April 30, 2020, are incorporated herein by reference.
STEEL DYNAMICS, INC.
Table of Contents
Special Note Regarding Forward-Looking Statements
Throughout this report, or in other reports or registration statements filed from time to time with the Securities and Exchange Commission under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, or under the Securities Act of 1933, as well as in documents we incorporate by reference herein or herefrom, or in press releases or oral statements made by our officers or Regulation FD authorized representatives, we may make statements that express our opinions, expectations, or projections regarding future events or future results, in contrast with statements that reflect present or historical facts. These predictive statements, which we generally precede or accompany by such typical conditional words as “anticipate,” “intend,” “believe,” “estimate,” “plan,” “seek,” “project” or “expect,” or by the words “may,” “will,” or “should,” are intended to operate as “forward-looking statements” of the kind permitted by the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, incorporated in Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933 and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. Such forward-looking statements involve both known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors that may cause our actual results, performance or achievements to be materially different from any future results, performance or achievements expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements. That legislation protects such predictive and cautionary statements by creating a “safe harbor” from liability in the event that a particular prediction does not turn out as anticipated.
While we always intend to express our best judgment when we make statements about what we believe will occur in the future, and although we base these statements on assumptions that we believe to be reasonable when made, these forward-looking statements are not a guarantee of performance, and you should not place undue reliance on such statements. Forward-looking statements are subject to many uncertainties and other variable circumstances, many of which are outside of our control, that could cause our actual results and experience to differ materially from those we thought would occur.
The following listing represents some, but not necessarily all, of the factors that may cause actual results to differ from those we may have anticipated or predicted:
|●||United States or foreign trade policy affecting the amount of, or tariffs on, foreign steel imported into the United States, or adverse or less than satisfactory outcomes of pending and future trade cases alleging unlawful practices in connection with steel imports;|
|●||increased price competition brought about by global steelmaking overcapacity;|
|●||increased price and other forms of competition from other steel producers, scrap processors and alternative materials;|
|●||margin compression resulting from falling selling prices with no offsetting reduction in raw material costs, or our inability to pass increases in costs of raw materials and supplies, if any, onto our customers;|
|●||the adverse impact of periods of slower than anticipated economic growth or the risk of a recession, resulting in a general decrease of demand for our products;|
|●||the weakening of demand for steel products within the non-residential and residential construction, automotive, manufacturing, appliance, pipe and tube, and other steel-consuming industries;|
|●||conditions affecting steel or recycled metals consumption;|
|●||cyclical changes in market supply and demand for steel and recycled metals;|
|●||changes in the availability or cost of raw materials, such as scrap metal, scrap substitute products such as pig iron and pelletized iron, and other supplies such as zinc, graphite electrodes and ferroalloys, or other raw materials, which we use in our production processes;|
|●||periodic fluctuations in the availability and cost of electricity, natural gas, oil, or other energy resources;|
|●||the impact of, or changes in, environmental law or in the application of other legal or regulatory requirements upon our production processes or costs of production or upon those of our suppliers or customers, including actions by government agencies, such as the United States Environmental Protection Agency or related state agencies, upon our receipt of pending or future environmentally related construction or operating permits;|
|●||the impact of United States government or various other governmental agencies introducing laws or regulatory changes in response to the subject of climate change and greenhouse gas emissions, including the introduction of carbon emissions limitations or trading mechanisms;|
|●||increased cybersecurity threats and vulnerabilities and increased global information technology security requirements, and a rise in sophisticated cybercrimes that pose a risk to the security and functionality of our systems and information networks and to the confidentiality, availability, and integrity of sensitive data, including intellectual property, proprietary information, financial information, customer, supplier and business partner information, and personally identifiable information;|
|●||changes in our business strategies or development plans which we have adopted or may adopt, and any difficulty or inability to timely, cost efficiently and successfully consummate, implement, integrate or operate any current, planned or potential construction or other projects, acquisitions, joint ventures or strategic alliances;|
|●||the impact of impairment charges;|
|●||private or governmental liability claims or litigation, or the impact of any adverse litigation costs or outcome of any litigation on the adequacy of our reserves or the availability or adequacy of our insurance coverage;|
|●||the occurrence of unanticipated equipment failures and plant outages;|
|●||costs to idle facilities, idled facility carrying costs, or increased costs to resume production at idled facilities; and|
|●||uncertainties involving new products or new technologies.|
We also refer you to and urge you to carefully read the section entitled Risk Factors at Item 1A of this report to better understand some of the principal risks and uncertainties inherent in our businesses or in owning our securities, as well as the section entitled Management Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations at Item 7. You should also review the notes to consolidated financial statements under headings in Note 1. Use of Estimates and in Note 9. Commitments and Contingencies.
Any forward-looking statements which we make in this report, or in any of the documents that are incorporated by reference herein or herefrom, speak only as of the date of such statement, and we undertake no ongoing obligation to update such statements. Comparisons of results between current and any prior periods are not intended to express any future trends or indications of future performance, unless expressed as such, and should only be viewed as historical data.
ITEM 1. BUSINESS
Steel Dynamics, Inc. is one of the largest domestic steel producers and metal recyclers in the United States, based on current estimated steelmaking and coating capacity of approximately 13 million tons and actual metals recycling volumes, with one of the most diversified, high-margin steel product portfolios. The company’s primary sources of revenue are from the manufacture and sale of steel products, the processing and sale of recycled ferrous and nonferrous metals, and the fabrication and sale of steel joists and deck products.
We believe our strategic focus to create value for our teams, customers, communities and shareholders is differentiated through our six Core Operating and Leadership Principles. These six pillars bring us together with a common focus and provide us the foundation upon which we operate and grow. Our six pillars and our team’s execution of them each day has driven our success and sustainability.
|●||Safety – Creating and maintaining a safe work environment is our number one value and first priority. We want every individual to go home safely at the end of each day and to take an active role in remaining safe both on the job and at home. Our goal is no accidents, no lost workdays, no injuries.|
|●||Sustaining Superior Operating Culture – Our entrepreneurial culture fosters a team of energetic, positive, driven and innovative individuals by utilizing open communication and meaningful performance-based compensation aligned to our strategic focus. This results in our safe, low-cost, and highly efficient operations, which drive “best-in-class” operating and financial performance.|
|●||Enhancing Customer Relationships and Commitment – We focus on being a preferred partner providing outstanding products and supply-chain solutions that exceed expectations, as we anticipate our customer’s future needs and deliver greater value.|
|●||Strategic Growth, Intentional Margin Expansion and Consistency “Through the Cycle” – Our intentional, value-driven growth has propelled our diversification in both end markets and product offerings to sustain continued higher volume and profitability throughout both strong and weak market environments. We are squarely focused on continued strategic and responsible growth.|
|●||Driving Innovation – Through individual creativity and ingenuity, our teams drive innovation to improve safety, quality, productivity and resource sustainability. We utilize innovative technologies and processes in order to perform at the highest level, and consistently achieve excellence in all that we do.|
|●||Financial Strength and Flexibility – We have one of the most diversified steel product offerings in the industry. Coupled with high variability of our operating costs and our vertically connected business platforms, this results in higher utilization and lower costs, providing strong cash flow generation through both strong and weak market cycles.|
Competitive Strengths / Business Strategies
We believe our financial strength and flexibility, coupled with our competitive advantages of maintaining a low, highly variable cost structure, producing a diversified value-added product offering, controlling a secure supply of recycled ferrous metals, fostering an entity-wide entrepreneurial culture and having an experienced senior management team and work force, positions us well to continue to strengthen our leadership position and execute our growth strategy.
Differentiated Business Model / Diversified Product Mix / Expanded Product Offerings
We are one of the most diversified steel companies in the United States, with very broad value-added steel product offerings. We offer a wide range of steel products (more specifically enumerated in the Steel Operations Products and Tons Sold by End Market discussion later in this section). We have a proven track record of growing and developing premium, value-added steel product capabilities and unlocking value within our operations. Additionally, by adding high-margin downstream manufacturing businesses, we are able to provide base-load “pull-through” volume for our steel operations, increasing “through-cycle” steel mill utilization. We are also identifying new ways to provide value to our customers by providing supply-chain solutions. Our differentiated business
model and performance-driven culture demonstrate our through-cycle earnings capability through our three vertically connected operating segments.
Sheet Products. Hot roll, cold roll and coated steel, including a wide variety of value-added products, such as light gauge hot roll, and galvanized, galvanneal, Galvalume®, Galfan®, and painted products.
Long Products. Structural steel beams, pilings, and standard and premium grade rail; engineered special-bar-quality of an expanding range of sizes and chemistries; various merchant-bar-quality products including rounds, angles, flats, reinforcing bar, channels and specialty steel sections.
Steel Finishing. Turning, polishing, straightening, chamfering, threading, precision saw-cutting, cold draw and heat treating of bar products; and cutting to length, additional straightening, hole punching, shot blasting, welding and coating of beams, channels and specialty steel sections.
Metals Recycling Operations. An array of both ferrous and nonferrous scrap recycling, scrap management, transportation, and brokerage products and services.
Steel Fabrication Operations. Steel joists, girders and steel deck, including specialty deck. Our steel fabrication operations provide “pull-through” volume optionality for our steel operations, as many of the products that we make utilize our own internally produced steel.
This diversified portfolio of products enables us to access a broad range of markets, serve a large customer base, and helps mitigate our market exposure to any one product or sector, resulting in increased through-cycle steel mill utilization. In addition, our value-added steel product offerings help to balance our exposure to commodity grade products supplied by other manufacturers. We will continue to seek additional opportunities and to collaborate with our customers to anticipate their future needs by further expanding our range of products and offerings, which may allow our customers the ability to more effectively and efficiently navigate their supply chain.
One such opportunity is our planned $1.9 billion “next-generation” electric arc furnace (EAF) flat roll steel mill – Southwest-Sinton Flat Roll Division. Our new steel mill will have an estimated 3.0 million tons of annual steel production capacity, including value-added coating lines comprised of a galvanizing line with planned annual coating capacity of 550,000 tons with galvalume capability and a paint line with annual coating capacity of 250,000 tons. By leveraging our construction and operating expertise, we are building a “next-generation” EAF flat roll steel mill with planned production capabilities beyond existing EAF flat roll steel producers, competing even more effectively with the integrated steel model and foreign competition. Our new steel mill will have the capability to provide higher-strength, tougher grades of flat roll steel for the energy and automotive markets. These ultra-high-strength steel products are not currently readily available from other domestic steel producers. By locating our new steel mill in Sinton, Texas we are strategically targeting underserved markets that are largely reliant on imports with long lead times and lower product quality capabilities, providing customers throughout the Southwest United States and Mexico significant freight benefits and shorter lead times allowing them to realize working capital advantages. Additionally, our new steel mill site has sufficient acreage to allow for customers to locate on-site, providing them with logistics savings and our steel mill with volume base-loading opportunities. Based on current expectations, operations are planned to begin mid-2021.
One of the Lowest Cost Steel Producers in the United States; State-of-the-Art Facilities / Allowing for Low Production Costs
We are focused on maintaining one of the lowest operating cost structures in the North American steel industry. Our low operating costs are primarily a result of our efficient plant designs and operations, our high productivity rate, low ongoing maintenance cost requirements and strategic locations near our customers and sources of our primary raw material, ferrous scrap.
We will continue to develop innovative ways to use our equipment, enhance our productivity and explore new technologies to further improve our unit costs of production at each of our facilities. As one of the lowest cost producers in each of our three primary operating segments, we are able to better manage through all market cycles, and to consistently maximize our profitability. We continuously seek to maximize the variability of our cost structure and to reduce per unit and fixed costs. Our highly performance-based incentive compensation plans at all employee levels are based on both divisional and consolidated company performance. Performance-based incentive compensation is designed to reward high productivity and efficient use of physical resources and capital
employed. Additionally, effectively leveraging our existing facilities through capital effective organic growth and diversified product offerings allows us to maximize utilization.
Secure Supply of High Quality Just-in-Time Ferrous Raw Materials
We maintain a secure supply of ferrous raw material resources through the benefit of our metals recycling operations and Iron Dynamics (IDI). Ferrous materials represent the single largest raw material component of our steel operations’ manufacturing costs, at approximately 55 to 60 percent of such costs. During 2019, 2018, and 2017, OmniSource, our metals recycling operations, provided our steel operations with 37%, 39%, and 38%, respectively, of its ferrous scrap requirements. This represented 66%, 65%, and 63% of OmniSource’s total ferrous scrap shipments during 2019, 2018, and 2017, respectively. During 2019, 2018, and 2017, our steel operations consumed 10.6 million, 10.9 million, and 10.3 million tons, respectively, of metallic materials, of which iron units, other than scrap, represented approximately 13% in 2019 and 2017, and 14% in 2018. IDI supplies 100% of its production to the Butler Flat Roll Division, representing 63%, 64%, and 72% of their iron units other than scrap in 2019, 2018, and 2017, respectively, through the transfer of liquid pig iron and hot briquetted iron, which are higher quality, energy-saving ferrous raw materials. We believe our metals recycling operations and IDI provide us with a high quality, cost effective, and secure raw material platform for effective working capital management.
Strategic Geographic Locations / Enter New Geographic Markets
The majority of our steelmaking operations are in locations near sustainable sources of scrap materials and near our customer base, allowing us to realize freight savings for inbound scrap as well as for outbound steel products destined for our customers. This also allows us to provide consistent on-time delivery to our customer base with relatively short lead times, further solidifying our customer relationships. Recycled ferrous scrap and iron units represent the most significant component of our cost of steel manufacturing. Approximately three-fourths of our recycled ferrous scrap needs are sourced within 250 miles of our steel mill locations, minimizing the amount of energy expended on transportation. We believe that our metals recycling facilities are in the regions that account for a majority of the total ferrous scrap produced in the United States. Our steel fabrication operations have a national footprint allowing us to serve the entire joist and deck domestic market and national accounts.
We have had a focus toward sustainability since our inception, valuing our teams, partners and communities while producing steel using EAF technology which utilizes recycled ferrous scrap as the primary raw material, requiring the use of far fewer natural resources and consuming significantly less energy than traditional blast furnace technology, resulting in lower levels of air emissions and much less environmental impact. For melting and casting steel, our energy intensity for our six EAF steel mills is only approximately 11% of the World Steel Association average energy intensity. Our CO2 emissions from our six EAF steel mills are only approximately 13% of the World Steel Association average CO2 emissions. We reuse over 99% of our total system water demand.
We have continuously innovated, further strengthening our company, becoming vertically connected with a looped manufacturing life cycle. We are one of the largest ferrous and nonferrous scrap metals recyclers in the United States. Our metals recycling platform collects and processes industrial scrap from manufacturers and obsolete scrap derived from end-of-life items, such as automobiles, appliances and machinery. This processed scrap is then sold to end users, including our electric arc furnace steel mills. Our steel mills utilize recycled ferrous scrap as their primary raw material input to produce new steel. Our steel is then sold internally to our steel manufacturing operations and to external steel customers.
Through our vertically connected manufacturing life cycle, we reintroduced 1.1 billion pounds of recycled nonferrous scrap and 11 million tons of recycled ferrous scrap into the manufacturing life cycle in 2019. Additionally, our vertically connected manufacturing life cycle allowed for 1.4 million tons of our steel to be used internally.
At Steel Dynamics, we recognize the importance of being good stewards of our environment and the communities where we work and live. We continually evaluate opportunities to improve our processes, equipment and technology to reduce our physical impact on the environment. To us, it is more than simply meeting applicable requirements, but going beyond with a commitment to higher environmental standards. Both our Butler and Columbus Flat Roll Divisions’ environmental management systems are certified with the International Organization for Standardization 14001. These facilities represent over 65% of our 2019 steel production.
Each of our steel mills has an environmental engineering group focused on regulatory compliance, and our employees are trained on how to properly handle waste streams and engage in responsible environmental practices. Being environmentally conscious is part of our culture. We see ourselves as members of the communities in which we do business. Every day, our teams take the initiative to protect the environment, simply because it is the right thing to do.
Experienced Leadership Team and Unique Culture / Foster Entrepreneurial Culture
Our senior leadership team is highly experienced and has a proven track record in the steel, metals recycling, and steel fabrication industries. Our leadership objectives are closely aligned with our stockholders through meaningful stock ownership positions and performance-based incentive compensation programs that are correlated to the company’s profitability and operational performance in relationship to its steel manufacturing peers. Our entrepreneurial culture resonates throughout each of our operating segments. We emphasize decentralized decision making, with corporate risk oversight, and have established incentive compensation programs specifically designed to reward our individual teams for their efforts toward identifying innovative ways to enhance productivity, improve profitability, and control costs.
We foster our entrepreneurial culture and emphasize decentralized operational decision making and responsibility, while continuing to maintain appropriate corporate governance and risk oversight. We reward teamwork, innovation, and operating efficiency, and focus on maintaining the effectiveness of our performance-driven incentive bonus plans that are designed to maximize overall productivity and align the interests of our leadership and teams with our stockholders.
Experienced Senior Leadership Team
Mark D. Millett
President and Chief Executive Officer
Theresa E. Wagler
Executive Vice President, Chief Financial Officer, and Corporate Secretary
Russ B. Rinn
Executive Vice President, Metals Recycling
Senior Vice President, Southwest United States and Mexico
Chris A. Graham
Senior Vice President, Long Products Steel Group
Glenn A. Pushis
Senior Vice President, Special Projects
Barry T. Schneider
Senior Vice President, Flat Roll Steel Group
James S. Anderson
Vice President, Steel Fabrication
Mark D. Millett, a co-founder of our company and director since inception, has been our President and Chief Executive Officer since January 2012. Prior to that, Mr. Millett has held various positions, including President and Chief Operating Officer, Executive Vice President of Metals Recycling and Ferrous Resources, President and Chief Operating Officer of OmniSource Corporation (now OmniSource, LLC), and Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer for Flat Rolled Steels and Ferrous Resources. Mr. Millett was responsible for the design, construction, and start-up operation of our Butler, Indiana flat roll, melting and casting operations. Mr. Millett, prior to his co-founding of Steel Dynamics, served from 1981 to 1985 as chief metallurgist for Nucor Corporation’s Darlington, South Carolina, division, charged with developing the world’s first commercially viable thin-slab-casting process as the manager of that project at Nucor’s Hazelett facility. In 1987, Mr. Millett was given the responsibility by Nucor for the design, construction, staffing, and operation of the melting and casting facility at Nucor’s world’s-first thin-slab casting facility at Crawfordsville, Indiana. Mr. Millett holds a bachelor’s degree in metallurgy from the University of Surrey in England. Mr. Millett was named Steelmaker of the Year in 2014 by the Association of Iron and Steel Technology.
Theresa E. Wagler has been our Executive Vice President, Chief Financial Officer and Corporate Secretary since May 2007. Ms. Wagler joined the Steel Dynamics corporate finance team in 1998, and has held various finance and accounting positions, including Chief Accounting Officer and Vice President and Corporate Controller, and was appointed to her current position in May 2007. She is responsible for and oversees accounting and taxation, treasury, risk management, legal, information technology and cyber security, safety and human resources, and strategic business development functions, as well as investor relations, and corporate communications. Ms. Wagler also has operational responsibilities beginning January 2019. Prior to joining Steel Dynamics, Ms. Wagler served as a certified public accountant with Ernst & Young LLP. She graduated cum laude from Taylor University with a bachelor’s degree in accounting and systems analysis. In addition, Ms. Wagler serves as a director and chair of the audit committee of CF Industries Holdings, Inc., a public company, and also serves as a director and audit committee chair for Trine University.
Russell B. Rinn has been our Executive Vice President for Metals Recycling since July 2011. Mr. Rinn is responsible for OmniSource’s ferrous and nonferrous metals recycling operations in the eastern half of the United States, as well as sourcing, marketing, trading, and logistics activities spanning the nation. OmniSource procures metal scrap, processes it, and markets these recycled metals to external customers and supplies ferrous scrap to the company’s steel mills. Prior to joining Steel Dynamics, Mr. Rinn was an Executive Vice President of Commercial Metals Company (CMC), a Texas-based mini-mill steel company. He has more than 30 years of experience in the steel and metals recycling industries. Mr. Rinn is a graduate of the Executive Program of the Stanford University Graduate School of Business and of the Management Development Program at the University of Michigan’s Business School. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Finance, Marketing and Business Administration from Texas Lutheran University.
Miguel Alvarez joined the company as our Senior Vice President, Southwest United States and Mexico in February 2019. In this position Mr. Alvarez is responsible for the comprehensive business development and partnerships in the regions, encompassing both steel and recycled metals. Prior to joining Steel Dynamics, since 2000 Mr. Alvarez served in leadership positions at BlueScope, a global engineered steel solutions provider and flat roll steel producer, focused on the global building and construction sectors. Mr. Alvarez’s responsibilities included leading BlueScope’s North American metal buildings business, with manufacturing facilities in the United States and Mexico, as President of BlueScope Buildings North America, since 2017. From 2010 to 2017, he served as the President of North Star BlueScope Steel, responsible for BlueScope’s only North American electric arc furnace flat roll steel mill. Mr. Alvarez earned a bachelor’s degree in industrial engineering and a Masters of Business Administration from the Technological Institute of Superior Studies in Monterrey, Mexico.
Chris A. Graham is our Senior Vice President, Long Products Steel Group, since February 2019. In this role, Mr. Graham is responsible for the company’s four long product steel mills, which combined have over 4 million tons of annual steel shipping capacity, producing specialized engineered bars, structural steel, railroad rail, merchant and reinforcing steel bars, and other specialty steels. Since 2016, Mr. Graham served as Senior Vice President, Downstream Manufacturing and President of New Millennium Building Systems, responsible for the company’s steel fabrication and downstream manufacturing operations. Prior to that, Mr. Graham served as a Vice President of Steel Dynamics and the President of New Millennium Building Systems fabrication operations. Mr. Graham was part of the team that constructed the company’s first steel mill in 1994. He held various leadership positions within the company’s steel group prior to moving into the fabrication operations in 2007. He was responsible for four operating fabrication plants from 2007 to 2010, at which point he also became the team leader responsible for overseeing the restructuring and integration of three acquired fabrication facilities, and in 2014 was made responsible for the integration of the Columbus Flat Roll Division. Mr. Graham is a graduate of Harvard Business School Advanced Management Program and earned a bachelor’s degree in business management from Western Governors University and an MBA from the University of Saint Francis.
Glenn A. Pushis is our Senior Vice President, Special Projects, since February 2019. In this position, Mr. Pushis is responsible for the successful design and construction of the company’s new Southwest-Sinton Flat Roll Division developed to serve the Southwestern United States and Mexico. He has extensive experience in this capacity and has been instrumental in numerous construction projects for Steel Dynamics since its foundation. Since 2016, Mr. Pushis served as Senior Vice President, Long Products Steel Group, responsible for the company’s four long product steel mills. Prior to that, Mr. Pushis served as Vice President overseeing the company’s Butler Flat Roll Division and six flat roll coating facilities. He has been with Steel Dynamics since 1994, holding various operational and leadership roles, and he was part of the team that constructed the company’s first steel mill in 1994 - Butler Flat Roll Division. He held various leadership positions within the company’s steel group, including the positions of General Manager for the Engineered Bar Products Division from 2003 to 2007 and more recently, the Butler Flat Roll Division from 2007 to 2014. Mr. Pushis earned a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from Purdue University and his MBA from Indiana University.
Barry T. Schneider has been our Senior Vice President, Flat Roll Steel Group since March 2016. Mr. Schneider is responsible for the company’s two flat roll steel mills and numerous flat roll coating lines, including The Techs and Heartland Flat Roll Division, which together have approximately 8.4 million tons of annual steel shipping capacity, producing hot roll, cold roll and coated steel products, including a wide variety of specialty products, such as light gauge hot roll, galvanized and painted products. Since 2014, Mr. Schneider served as a Vice President overseeing the company’s Engineered Bar Products and Roanoke Bar steel divisions. Mr. Schneider was also part of the team that constructed the company’s first steel mill in 1994, serving in several engineering and operational roles in the melt shop during the company’s first five years of operations. He was the manager of the Butler Flat Roll Division’s hot strip mill and later the cold rolling and coating facilities from 2000 to 2007. Mr. Schneider then held the position of General Manager for the Engineered Bar Products Division from 2007 to 2014. Mr. Schneider earned a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering and a Master of Science in engineering management from Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology.
James S. Anderson is our Vice President, Steel Fabrication, and President of New Millennium Building Systems, since February 2019. In this role, Mr. Anderson is responsible for the company's steel fabrication operations, comprised of seven manufacturing facilities, located throughout the United States and in Northern Mexico. Since 2015, Mr. Anderson served as the Chief Operating Officer of New Millennium Building Systems. Prior to that, Mr. Anderson was the general manager of the company's three flat roll galvanizing lines located in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania (The Techs). Steel Dynamics purchased The Techs in 2007, where Mr. Anderson then served as its Managing Partner. Mr. Anderson earned a bachelor’s degree in Metallurgical Engineering from Grove City College and a Masters of Business Administration from the University of Pittsburgh.
We have three reporting segments: steel operations, metals recycling operations, and steel fabrication operations. Refer to Notes 1 and 13 in the notes to consolidated financial statements in Part II, Item 8 of this Form 10-K for additional segment information.
Steel Operations Segment
Steel operations consist of our six electric arc furnace steel mills, producing steel from ferrous scrap and scrap substitutes, utilizing continuous casting, automated rolling mills and numerous steel coating and processing lines, and IDI, our liquid pig iron production facility, that supplies solely the Butler Flat Roll Division. Our steel operations sell directly to end-users, steel fabricators, and service centers. These products are used in numerous industry sectors, including the construction, automotive, manufacturing, transportation, heavy and agriculture equipment, and pipe and tube (including OCTG) markets. Our steel operations accounted for 76%, 75%, and 72% of our consolidated net sales during 2019, 2018 and 2017, respectively. We are predominantly a domestic steel company, with only 4% of our revenues generated from exported sales during 2019, and 5% in 2018 and 2017.
Our steel operations consist primarily of steelmaking and coating operations. We have approximately 8.4 million tons of flat roll steel shipping capacity, comprised of 6.4 million tons of flat roll steel production capacity at our Butler and Columbus Flat Roll Divisions and an additional 2.0 million tons of flat roll steel processing capacity at our Techs and Heartland divisions. We also have annual flat roll galvanizing capability of 3.6 million tons and painting capability of 750,000 tons.
We have approximately 4.6 million tons of long product steel shipping capacity, as follows:
Structural and Rail Division
Engineered Bar Products Division
Roanoke Bar Division
Steel of West Virginia
Vulcan Threaded Products Division
Steelmaking capacities represent manufacturing capabilities based on steel mill configuration and related employee support. These capacities do not represent expected volumes in a given year. In addition, estimates of steel mill capacity are highly dependent on the specific product mix manufactured. Each of our steel mills can and do roll many different types and sizes of products; therefore, our capacity estimates assume a typical product mix.
The following chart summarizes our steel operations primary products and the estimated percentage of tons sold by end market:
SHEET STEEL PRODUCTS
Our sheet steel products, consisting of hot roll, cold roll and coated steel products are produced by our Butler and Columbus Flat Roll Divisions, and our numerous downstream coating lines, including The Techs, Heartland Flat Roll Division – acquired June 29, 2018; and United Steel Supply (USS) – acquired 75% equity interest March 1, 2019. Our sheet steel operations represented 70% of steel operations net sales in 2019 and 2018, and 71% in 2017. We produced 7.8 million, 7.5 million, and 7.1 million tons of sheet steel at these facilities in 2019, 2018, and 2017, respectively.
IDI produces liquid pig iron and hot briquetted iron (HBI) that serves as a substitute for a portion of the metallic raw material mix that goes directly into our Butler Flat Roll Division electric arc furnaces to produce steel. IDI’s primary focus is to maximize liquid pig iron production, due to the inherent economic benefits achieved at the steel mill when the material is used in the steelmaking process, such as reduced energy cost, reduced materials cost, and quicker melting cycles. During 2019, 2018, and 2017, respectively, IDI produced 259,000, 262,000 and 259,000 metric tons, of which 96% in 2019 and 2018, and 90% in 2017, was liquid pig iron. We have used, and plan to continue to use, all of the facility’s output internally.
The following chart summarizes the types of sheet steel products sold by sales dollars, during the respective years:
Customers. Steel processors and service centers typically act as intermediaries between primary sheet steel producers and the many end-user manufacturers that require further processing of hot roll coils. The additional processing performed by the intermediate steel processors and service centers include pickling, galvanizing, cutting to length, slitting to size, leveling, blanking, shape correcting, edge rolling, shearing and stamping. We believe that our intermediate steel processor and service center customers will remain an integral part of our customer base. The Columbus Flat Roll Division allows us to capitalize on the industrial markets in the Southern United States and Mexico, as well as further expand our customer base in painted, and line and other pipe products. Galvanized flat roll products produced by our Butler and Columbus Flat Roll Divisions are similar and are sold to a similar customer base. The Techs and Heartland Flat Roll Division specialize in the galvanizing of specific types of flat roll steels in primarily non-automotive applications, servicing a variety of customers in the heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC), construction, agriculture and consumer goods markets. The addition of United Steel Supply adds a new, complementary distribution channel for pre-painted and coated flat roll steel coils to the niche regional roll-former market, serving the roofing and siding industry. This connects us to a rapidly growing industry segment with customers that do not traditionally purchase steel directly from a steel producer. USS provides continued growth to one of our highest-margin flat roll steel products. Our sheet steel operations also provide a substantial portion of the sheet steel utilized in our steel fabrication operations.
The following chart summarizes the types of end-customers who purchased our sheet steel products, by sales dollars, during the respective years:
Our Structural and Rail Division produces a variety of parallel flange sections such as wide flange beams, American Standard Beams, manufactured housing beams, and H Piling, and channel sections for the construction, transportation and industrial machinery markets, as well as flat bars and large unequal leg angles used in construction markets. We also produce standard strength carbon, intermediate alloy hardness, and premium grade rails in 40 to 320 feet length for the railroad industry. Our state-of-the-art heat treating system allows us to produce high quality premium rail, which has been certified by all Class I railroads. In addition, our rail-welding facility has the ability to weld (Continuous Welded Rail) in lengths up to 1,600 feet, which offers substantial savings to the railroads both in terms of initial capital cost and through reduced maintenance. In early 2019, we completed and commissioned our expansion to utilize existing excess melting and casting capability to produce up to 240,000 tons of various sizes of reinforcing bar including custom cut-to-length, smooth bar, and coiled. We also utilize our excess melting capacity to supply our Engineered Bar Products Division with pull-through volume of billets to utilize its excess rolling capacity.
Our Engineered Bar Products Division produces a broad array of engineered special-bar-quality (SBQ), merchant-bar-quality (MBQ), rounded-cornered squares, and smaller-diameter engineered round bars. We have a bar finishing facility at this mill, which provides various downstream finishing operations for our SBQ steel bars. Processing operations include turning, polishing, straightening, chamfering, precision saw-cutting and heat-treating capabilities. In addition, non-destructive testing services are available, including eddy current, flux leakage and ultrasonic inspection. Vulcan Threaded Products, Inc. (Vulcan), produces threaded rod product, and cold drawn and heat treated bar, creating strategic pull-through demand of special-bar-quality products provided from our Engineered Bar Products Division.
Our Roanoke Bar Division primarily produces merchant bar products, including channels, angles, flats, merchant rounds, and reinforcing bar. During 2018, we completed our rolling line expansion project to utilize existing excess melting and casting capability to produce up to 200,000 tons of reinforcing bar, with multi-strand slitting and finishing capabilities.
Steel of West Virginia primarily sells beams, channels, specialty steel sections and flats, and frequently performs fabrication and finishing operations on its products, such as cutting to length, additional straightening, hole punching, shot blasting, welding, galvanizing, and coating. Through this additional finishing, we create custom finished products that are generally placed directly into our customers’ assembly operations.
We produced the following long steel products at these facilities (tons):
Structural and Rail Division
Rail production (included above)
Engineered Bar Products Division
Roanoke Bar Division
Steel of West Virginia
Customers. The principal customers for our structural steel products are steel service centers, steel fabricators and various manufacturers. Service centers, though not the ultimate end-user, provide valuable mill distribution functions to the fabricators and manufacturers, including small quantity sales, repackaging, cutting, preliminary processing and warehousing. The steel rail marketplace in the United States, Canada and Mexico is specialized and defined, with eight Class I railroads and a large distribution network.
SBQ products are principally consumed by cold finishers, forgers, intermediate processors, OEM manufacturers, steel service centers, and distributors, as well as pull-through volume to Vulcan. Our MBQ products are sold primarily to steel service centers, as well as reinforcing bar distributors, joist producers, and OEMs. Some of the excess steel billet production at the Roanoke Bar Division is sold to mills without sufficient melting capacities, including our Steel of West Virginia facility. Our steel fabrication operations also purchase angles from Roanoke Bar Division. Steel of West Virginia’s customers are primarily OEMs producing truck trailers, industrial lift trucks, merchant products, guardrail posts, manufactured housing, mining, and off-highway construction equipment. Steel of West Virginia’s flexible manufacturing capabilities enable us to meet demand for a variety of custom-ordered and designed products. Many of these products are produced in small quantities for low volume end-uses resulting in a wide variety of customers, the largest of which are in the truck trailer and industrial lift truck industries.
Steel Competition. The markets in which we conduct business are highly competitive with an abundance of competition in the carbon steel industry from North American and foreign integrated and mini-mill steelmaking and processing operations. We compete in numerous industry sections, most significantly tied to the construction, automotive, and other manufacturing sectors. In many applications within these industry sections, steel competes with other materials, such as aluminum, cement, composites, plastics, carbon fiber, glass and wood. Some of our products are commodities, subject to their own cyclical fluctuations in supply and demand. However, we are focused on providing a broader range of diversified value-added products that de-emphasize commodity steel. The primary competitive influences on products we sell are price, quality and value-added services.
Metals Recycling Operations Segment
The metals recycling operations consists solely of OmniSource and includes both ferrous and nonferrous scrap metal processing, transportation, marketing, and brokerage services strategically located primarily in close proximity to our steel mills and other end-user scrap consumers throughout the eastern half of the United States. In addition, OmniSource designs, installs, and manages customized scrap management programs for industrial manufacturing companies at hundreds of locations throughout North America. Our metals recycling operations accounted for 11%, 13% and 15% of our consolidated net sales during 2019, 2018 and 2017, respectively. Our steel mills utilize a large portion (approximately 65%) of the ferrous scrap sold by OmniSource as raw material in our steelmaking operations, and the remainder is sold to other consumers. This strategic symbiotic relationship with our own steelmaking operations provides valuable pull-through demand to OmniSource’s ferrous scrap operations. In 2019, 2018, and 2017, OmniSource provided our steel operations with 37%, 39%, and 38%, respectively, of its ferrous scrap requirements.
We shipped the following from our metals recycling operations:
Ferrous metal total (gross tons)
Shipments to our steel mills
Percent of total to our steel mills
Nonferrous metals (thousands of pounds)
We sell various grades of processed ferrous scrap primarily to steel mills and foundries. Ferrous scrap metal is the primary raw material for electric arc furnaces, such as our steel mills. In addition, we sell various grades of nonferrous metals such as copper, brass, aluminum and stainless steel, to aluminum, steel and ingot manufacturers, brass and bronze ingot makers, copper refineries and mills, smelters, specialty mills, alloy manufacturers, and other consumers.
We purchase processed and unprocessed ferrous and nonferrous scrap metals, in a variety of forms for our metals recycling facilities.
Ferrous scrap comes from two primary sources:
|●||Manufacturers and industrial plants, metal fabrication plants, machine shops and factories, which generate ferrous scrap referred to as prompt or industrial scrap, and|
|●||Scrap dealers, retail individuals, auto wreckers, demolition firms and others who provide steel and iron scrap, referred to as obsolete scrap. Obsolete scrap includes scrap recycled from items such as end-of-life automobiles, appliances, railroad cars and railroad track materials, agricultural machinery and demolition scrap from obsolete structures, containers and machines and represents a significant source of scrap generation.|
Nonferrous scrap comes from three primary sources:
|●||Manufacturers and other nonferrous scrap sources, which generate or sell scrap aluminum, copper, stainless steel, and other nonferrous metals,|
|●||Producers of items such as electric wire, telecommunication service providers, aerospace, defense and recycling companies that generate nonferrous scrap consisting primarily of copper wire, aluminum beverage cans, and various other metals and alloys, and|
|●||Retail individuals who sell material directly to our facilities, which they collect from a variety of sources.|
We do not purchase a significant amount of scrap metal from a single source or from a limited number of major sources. Market demand and the composition, quality, size, weight, and location of the materials are the primary factors that determine prices.
Products. Our metals recycling operations primarily involve the purchase, processing, and resale of ferrous and nonferrous scrap metals into reusable forms and grades. We process an array of ferrous products through a variety of methods, including sorting, shredding, shearing, cutting, torching, baling, briquetting, and breaking. Our major ferrous products include heavy melting steel, busheling, bundled scrap, shredded scrap and other scrap metal products, such as steel turnings and cast iron. These products vary in properties or attributes related to cleanness, size of individual pieces, and residual alloys. The necessary characteristics of the ferrous products are determined by the specific needs and requirements of the consumer and affect the individual product’s relative value. We process numerous grades of nonferrous products, including aluminum, brass, copper, stainless steel, and other nonferrous metals. Additionally, we provide transportation logistics (truck, rail, and river barge), marketing, brokerage, and scrap management services, providing competitive price and cost advantages to our suppliers and customers.
Customers. We sell various grades of processed ferrous scrap to end-users, such as electric arc furnace steel mills, integrated steelmakers, foundries, secondary smelters, and metal brokers, who aggregate materials for other large users. Ferrous scrap metal is the primary raw material for electric arc furnaces, such as our steel mills. Most of our ferrous scrap customers purchase processed scrap through negotiated spot sales contracts which establish a quantity purchase for the month. The price we charge for ferrous scrap depends upon market demand and pricing, transportation costs, as well as the quality and grade of the scrap. We sell various grades of processed nonferrous scrap to end-users such as aluminum sheet and ingot manufacturers, brass and bronze ingot makers, copper refineries, mills, smelters, specialty steelmakers, alloy manufacturers, wire and cable producers, utilities, and telephone networks. The
price we charge for nonferrous scrap also depends upon market demand and pricing, transportation costs, as well as the quality and grade of the scrap.
Competition. Scrap is a global commodity influenced by conditions in a number of industrialized and emerging markets throughout Asia, Europe and North America. The markets for scrap metals are highly competitive, both in the purchase of raw or unprocessed scrap, and the sale of processed scrap. With regard to the purchase of unprocessed scrap, we compete with numerous independent recyclers, as well as smaller scrap companies engaged only in collecting obsolete scrap. In many cases, we also purchase unprocessed scrap metal from smaller scrap dealers and other processors. Successful procurement of materials is determined primarily by the price offered by the purchaser for the raw scrap and the proximity of our processing facility to the source of the raw scrap. Both ferrous and nonferrous scrap sells as a commodity in both domestic and international markets, which are affected, sometimes significantly, by relative economic conditions, currency fluctuations, and the availability and cost of transportation. Competition for sales of processed scrap is based primarily on the price, quality, and location of the scrap metals, as well as the level of service provided in terms of reliability and timing of delivery.
We also face potential competition for sales of processed scrap from other producers of steel products, such as electric arc furnace and integrated steel mills, some of which like us are also vertically integrated in the scrap metals recycling business. In addition, other steel mills may compete with us in attempting to secure scrap supply through direct purchasing from our scrap suppliers. Scrap metal processors also face competition from substitutes for prepared ferrous scrap, such as pig iron, pelletized iron, HBI, direct reduced iron (DRI), and other forms of processed iron. The availability and relative prices of substitutes for ferrous scrap could result in a decreased demand for processed ferrous scrap and could result in lower prices and/or lower demand for our scrap products.
The industry is highly fragmented with many smaller, regional, national and global companies, which have multiple locations in areas in which OmniSource also operates. No single scrap metals recycler has a significant market share in the domestic market.
Steel Fabrication Operations Segment
Our steel fabrication operations include seven New Millennium Building Systems plants that primarily serve the non-residential construction industry throughout the United States. We have a national operating footprint that allows us to serve the entire domestic construction market, as well as national accounts, such as large retail chains.
Steel fabrication operations accounted for 9%, 8%, and 9% of our consolidated net sales during 2019, 2018, and 2017, respectively. We sold 644,000, 642,000, and 627,000 tons of joist and deck products during 2019, 2018, and 2017, respectively. Our steel operations supply a substantial portion, approximately 67%, 58% and 51% in 2019, 2018, and 2017, respectively, of the steel utilized in our steel fabrication operations, providing strategic pull-through demand.
Products. Our steel fabrication operations produce steel building components, including steel joists, girders, and trusses at six locations, and steel deck at five locations. Our joist products include bowstring, arched, scissor, double-pitched and single-pitched joists. Our deck products include a full range of steel decking: roof, form, composite floor, specialty architectural, floor systems, and bridge deck.
Customers and Markets. Our primary steel fabrication operations customers are non-residential steel fabricators, such as metal building companies, general construction contractors, developers, brokers and governmental entities. Our customers are located throughout the United States, including national accounts. The steel joist and deck market in the United States was approximately 2.1 million tons in 2019, and 2018, and 2.0 million tons in 2017, based on trade association estimates. Based on this information, our steel fabrication operations continue to maintain approximately one-third of the total steel joist and deck market. We believe we are well positioned with our national footprint as the non-residential construction market continues to expand, and we have available capacity that can be deployed as needed.
Competition. We compete with other North American joist and steel deck producers primarily on the basis of price, quality, customer service, and proximity to the customer. Our national footprint allows us to service the entire domestic non-residential construction market, as well as national accounts such as large retail chains, and certain specialty deck customers.
Sources, Availability, and Cost of Steel and Other Operations’ Raw Materials
Scrap Metals. The principal raw material of our steel operations is scrap metal derived from, among other sources “home scrap”, generated internally at steel mills themselves; industrial scrap, generated as a by-product of manufacturing; and obsolete scrap recycled from end-of-life automobiles, appliances, railroad cars and railroad track materials, agricultural machinery and demolition scrap from obsolete structures, containers and machines.
Ferrous scrap typically comprises more than 80% of the metallic melt mix in electric arc furnace steelmaking, in contrast to integrated mill steelmaking, where the proportion of scrap has traditionally been approximately 25% to 35%. Depending upon the scrap substitute material that may be available from time to time, and the relative cost of such material, the percentage of scrap used in our steelmaking operations could be increased or reduced in our metallic melt mix.
Many variables can impact ferrous scrap prices, all of which reflect the pushes and pulls of the supply demand equation. These factors include the level of domestic steel production (high quality low-residual scrap is a by-product of steel manufacturing activity), the level of exports of scrap from the United States, and the amount of obsolete scrap production. In addition, domestic ferrous scrap prices generally have a strong correlation and spread to global pig iron pricing. Generally, as domestic steel demand increases, so does scrap demand and resulting scrap prices. The reverse is also normally, but not always, true with scrap prices following steel prices downward when supply exceeds demand. When scrap prices greatly accelerate, this can challenge one of the principal elements of an electric arc furnace based steel mill’s traditional lower cost structure—the cost of its metallic raw material.
The following table provides pricing per gross ton from American Metal Market (AMM) and Ryan’s Notes (Pig Iron) estimates for ferrous materials used in steel production:
Iron Units. In addition to scrap, pig iron, DRI, HBI, and iron nuggets are used in our electric arc furnace steel mill production. During 2019, 2018, and 2017, we consumed 10.6 million, 10.9 million and 10.3 million tons, respectively, of metallic materials in our steelmaking furnaces, of which, iron units other than scrap, represented approximately 13%, 14% and 13% of the tons, respectively. Of these iron substitute units consumed, our IDI operation supplies 100% of its production to the Butler Flat Roll Division mill, representing 63%, 64% and 72% of their iron units in 2019, 2018, and 2017, respectively.
Electricity. Electricity is a significant input required in the electric arc furnaces in our steelmaking operations, representing between 4% and 6% of steel production costs of goods sold in 2019, 2018 and 2017. We have entered into fixed price electricity contracts for the Butler Flat Roll Division, Columbus Flat Roll Division, Roanoke Bar Division and Steel of West Virginia, while our Engineered Bar Products Division has a combination of fixed pricing and market pricing for the various components of the electrical services (demand charge, energy charge, riders, etc.). Our Structural and Rail Division purchases electricity at current market prices and through fixed price forward contracts.
Patents and Trademarks
We currently do not own any material patents or patent applications for technologies that are in use in our production processes. We have the following major registered trademarks, as follows:
|●||the mark “SDI” and a chevron alone;|
|●||the mark “SDI” and a chevron and “Steel Dynamics, Inc.” to the right of the chevron;|
|●||the mark “SDI” and a chevron and “Steel Dynamics” to the right of the chevron;|
|●||the mark “OmniSource” with the circle logo design;|
|●||the slogan “The Best in Metals Recycling”;|
|●||the mark “The Techs”; and|
|●||the mark “New Millennium Building Systems, LLC.”|
Research and Development
Our research and development activities have consisted of efforts to expand, develop and improve our steel products and operating processes, and our efforts to develop and improve alternative ironmaking technologies through IDI. Most of these research and development efforts have been conducted in-house by our employees.
Our operations are subject to substantial and evolving local, state, and federal environmental, health and safety laws and regulations concerning, among other things, emissions to the air, discharges to surface and ground water and to sewer systems, and the generation, handling, storage, transportation, treatment and disposal of solid and hazardous wastes and secondary materials. Our operations are dependent upon permits regulating discharges into the environment or the use and handling of by-products in order to operate our facilities. We dedicate considerable resources aimed at achieving compliance with federal, state and local laws concerning the environment. While we do not currently believe that our future compliance efforts with such provisions will have a material adverse effect on our results of operations, cash flows or financial condition, this is subject to change in the ever-evolving regulatory environment in which we operate.
Since the interpretation and enforcement of environmental laws and regulations that may be enacted from time to time are subject to changing social or political pressures, our environmental capital expenditures and costs for environmental compliance may increase in the future. In addition, due to the possibility of unanticipated regulatory or other developments, the amount and timing of future environmental expenditures may vary substantially from those currently anticipated. The cost of current and future environmental compliance may also place United States steel producers at a competitive disadvantage with respect to foreign steel producers, which may not be required to undertake equivalent costs in their operations.
Pursuant to the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act, or RCRA, which governs the treatment, handling and disposal of solid and hazardous wastes, the United States Environmental Protection Agency, or United States EPA, and authorized state or local environmental agencies may conduct inspections to identify alleged violations or areas where there may have been releases of solid or hazardous constituents into the environment and require the facilities to take corrective action to address any such releases. RCRA also allows citizens to bring certain suits against regulated facilities for potential damages and cleanup. Our steelmaking and certain
other facilities generate wastes subject to RCRA. Our operations produce various by-products, some of which, for example electric arc furnace or EAF dust, are often categorized as hazardous waste, requiring special handling for disposal or for the recovery of metallics. We collect such by-products in pollution control equipment, such as baghouses, and either recycle or appropriately dispose of the unusable by-products. While we cannot predict the future actions of the regulators or other interested parties, the potential exists for required corrective action at these facilities, the costs of which could be substantial.
Under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act, known as “CERCLA” or “Superfund,” the United States EPA, state agencies and, in some instances, private parties have the authority to impose joint and several liability for the remediation of contaminated properties upon generators of waste, current and former site owners and operators, transporters and other potentially responsible parties, regardless of fault or the legality of the original disposal activity. Many states have statutes and regulatory authorities similar to CERCLA that can also apply. We have a number of material handling agreements with various contractors to properly dispose of or recycle our EAF dust and certain other by-products of our operations. However, we cannot assure that, even if there has been no fault by us, we may not still be cited as a waste generator by reason of an environmental cleanup at a site to which our by-products were transported.
The Clean Water Act and similar state and local laws apply to aspects of our operations and impose regulatory restrictions related to the discharge of wastewater, storm water and dredged or fill material. The United States EPA, state agencies and, in certain instances, private parties have the ability to bring suit alleging violations and seeking penalties and damages. The Clean Water Act’s provisions can require new or expanded water treatment investments to be made and can limit or even prohibit certain current or planned activities at our operations.
The Clean Air Act and analogous state and local laws require many of our facilities to obtain and maintain air permits in order to operate. Air permits can impose new or expanded obligations to limit or prevent current or future emissions and to add costly pollution control equipment. Enforcement for alleged violations can be brought by the United States EPA, state agencies, and in certain instances private parties, and can result in substantial penalties and injunctive relief.
In addition, there are a number of other environmental, health and safety laws and regulations that apply to our facilities and may affect our operations. By way of example and not of limitation, certain portions of the federal Toxic Substances Control Act, Oil Pollution Act, Safe Drinking Water Act and Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act, as well as state and local laws and regulations implemented by the regulatory agencies, apply to aspects of our facilities’ operations. In some instances, we may also be subject to foreign governments’ regulations and international treaties and laws. Many of these laws allow both the governments and citizens to bring certain suits against regulated facilities for alleged environmental violations. Finally, our operations could be subject to certain toxic tort suits brought by citizens or other third parties alleging causes of action such as nuisance, negligence, trespass, infliction of emotional distress, or other claims alleging personal injury or property damage.
Our work force consisted of approximately 8,385 full time employees at December 31, 2019, of which approximately 9% were represented by collective bargaining agreements.
Our internet website address is www.steeldynamics.com. We make available on our internet website, under “Investors,” free of charge, as soon as reasonably practicable after such materials are electronically filed with, or furnished to, the Securities and Exchange Commission, our Annual Report on Form 10-K, Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q, Current Reports on Form 8-K and amendments to those reports, as well as press releases, ownership reports pursuant to Section 16(a) of the Securities Act of 1933, our Code of Ethics for Principal Executive Officers and Senior Financial Officers, our Code of Business Conduct and Ethics, and any amendments thereto or waivers thereof, as well as our Audit, Compensation, and Corporate Governance and Nominating Committee Charters. We do not intend to incorporate the contents of our or any other website into this report.
ITEM 1A. RISK FACTORS
Many factors could have an effect on our business, results of operations, financial condition and cash flows. We are subject to various risks resulting from changing economic, environmental, political, industry, business and financial conditions. The factors described below represent our principal risks.
Risks Related to our Industry
Global steelmaking overcapacity and imports of steel into the United States have adversely affected, and may continue to adversely affect, United States steel prices, which may adversely affect our business, results of operations, financial condition and cash flows.
Global steelmaking capacity currently exceeds global consumption of steel products, which adversely affects United States and global steel prices. Such excess capacity sometimes results in steel manufacturers in certain countries exporting steel and steel products, including pre-fabricated long product steel, at prices that are lower than prevailing domestic prices, and sometimes at or below their cost of production. Excessive imports of steel and steel products, including pre-fabricated steel, into the United States, have exerted, and may continue to exert, downward pressure on United States steel and steel products prices, which adversely affects our business, results of operations, financial condition and cash flows. Furthermore, anticipated additional domestic steel capacity could increase this global overcapacity. This, in turn, may also adversely impact domestic demand for ferrous scrap and our ferrous metallics margins. United States steel producers compete with many foreign producers, including those in China, Vietnam and other Asian and European countries. Competition from foreign producers is typically strong and is periodically exacerbated by weakening of the economies of certain foreign steelmaking countries. Additionally, low iron ore prices, resulting in disruption of the scrap price correlation to iron ore, leads to reduced global costs to produce steel, further depressing steel import prices. A higher volume of steel imports into the United States tends to occur at depressed prices when steel producing countries experience periods of economic difficulty, decreased demand for steel products or excess capacity. The global steelmaking overcapacity is exacerbated by Chinese steel production capacity that far exceeds that country’s demand and has made China a major global exporter of steel, resulting in weakened global steel pricing than otherwise would be expected. While tariffs pursuant to Section 232 of the Trade Expansion Act of 1962, as amended (“Section 232”), other measures to curb unfair trade such as duties or quotas, and the renegotiation of trade agreements with other countries, including the recently signed United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (“USMCA”), have decreased the volume of steel and steel products imports in the United States, domestic steel and steel products prices remain negatively impacted by excessive imports of steel and steel products into the United States. Should the Section 232 tariffs, duties or quotas expire or be relaxed, repealed or circumvented by importers of steel and steel products, or should trade agreements be renegotiated, downward pressure may be exerted on United States steel and steel products prices, which adversely affects our business, results of operations, financial condition and cash flows.
In addition, we believe the downward pressure on, and periodically depressed levels of, United States steel prices in recent years have been further accentuated through imports of steel involving dumping and subsidy abuses by foreign steel producers. Some foreign steel producers are owned, controlled or subsidized by foreign governments. As a result, decisions by these producers with respect to their production, sales and pricing are sometimes influenced to a greater degree by political and economic policy considerations than by prevailing market conditions, realities of the marketplace or consideration of profit or loss. However, while some tariffs, duties and quotas, including those imposed under Section 232, have been put into effect for steel and certain steel products imported from a number of countries that have been found to have been unfairly pricing steel imports to the United States, some foreign steel subject to these duties, tariffs and quotas circumvent the penalties by processing in or transporting through a foreign country not subject to the penalties. Additionally, there is no assurance that the Section 232 tariffs or other already imposed tariffs, duties and quotas will remain in place or that new ones, even if justified, will be levied, and even when imposed many of these are only short-lived. If such tariffs, duties or quotas expire or if others are further relaxed or repealed, or if relatively higher United States steel prices make it attractive for foreign steelmakers to export their steel products to the United States, despite the presence of tariffs, duties or quotas, the resurgence of substantial imports of foreign steel could create downward pressure on United States steel prices.
Our industry, as well as the industries of many of our customers and suppliers upon whom we are dependent, is affected by domestic and global economic factors including periods of slower than anticipated economic growth and the risk of a new recession.
Our financial results are substantially dependent not only upon overall economic conditions in the United States and globally, including North America, Europe and in Asia, but also as they may affect one or more of the industries upon which we depend for the sale of our products. Global or domestic actions or conditions, including political actions, trade policies or restrictions, such as the recently signed USMCA, changes in tax laws, terrorism, natural disasters, or widespread illness or other health issues, such as the recent Coronavirus outbreak, could result in changing economic conditions in the United States and globally, disruptions to or
slowdowns in our business or our global or domestic industry, or those of our customers or suppliers upon whom we are dependent, or changes in our pre-tax and post-tax financial performance. Additionally, periods of slower than anticipated economic growth could reduce customer confidence and adversely affect demand for our products and further adversely affect our business, results of operations, financial condition and cash flows. Metals industries have historically been vulnerable to significant declines in consumption and product pricing during periods of economic downturn or continued uncertainty, including the pace of domestic non-residential construction activity.
Our business is also dependent upon certain industries, such as construction, automotive, manufacturing, transportation, heavy and agriculture equipment, and pipe and tube (including OCTG) markets, and these industries are also cyclical in nature. Therefore, these industries may experience their own fluctuations in demand for our products based on such things as economic conditions, raw material and energy costs, consumer demand and infrastructure funding decisions by governments. Many of these factors are beyond our control. As a result of volatility in our industry or in the industries we serve, we may have difficulty increasing or maintaining our level of sales or profitability. If our industry or the industries we serve were to suffer a downturn, then we may experience an adverse effect on our business, results of operations, financial condition and cash flows.
A prospective decline in consumer and business confidence and spending, which is often coupled with reductions in the availability of credit or increased cost of credit, as well as volatility in the capital and credit markets, could adversely affect the business and economic environment in which we operate and the profitability of our business. We are also exposed to risks associated with the creditworthiness of our suppliers and customers. If the availability of credit to fund or support the continuation and expansion of our customers’ business operations is curtailed or if the cost of that credit is increased, the resulting inability of our customers or of their customers to either access credit or absorb the increased cost of that credit could adversely affect our business by reducing our sales or by increasing our exposure to losses from uncollectible customer accounts. A disruption of the credit markets could also result in financial instability of some of our suppliers and customers. The consequences of such adverse effects could include the interruption of production at the facilities of our customers, the reduction, delay or cancellation of customer orders, delays or interruptions of the supply of raw materials we purchase, and bankruptcy of customers, suppliers or other creditors. Any of these events may adversely affect our business, results of operations, financial condition and cash flows.
Our level of production and our sales and earnings are subject to significant fluctuations as a result of the cyclical nature of the steel industry and some of the industries we serve.
The steel manufacturing business is cyclical in nature, and the selling price of the steel we make may fluctuate significantly due to many factors beyond our control. Furthermore, a number of our products are commodities, subject to their own cyclical fluctuations in supply and demand in both metal consuming and metal generating industries, including the construction and manufacturing industries. The timing, magnitude and duration of these cycles and the resulting price fluctuations are difficult to predict. The sale of our manufactured steel products is directly affected by demand for our products in other cyclical industries, such as construction, automotive, manufacturing, transportation, heavy and agriculture equipment, and pipe and tube (including OCTG) markets. Economic difficulties, stagnant or slow global economies, supply/demand imbalances and currency fluctuations in the United States or globally could decrease the demand for our products or increase the amount of imports of steel into the United States, which could decrease our sales, margins and profitability.
The scrap metal recycling industry has historically been, and is expected to remain, highly cyclical and this could have a material adverse effect on our metals recycling operations’ results.
Scrap metal prices remain subject to fluctuation, and operating results within the metals recycling industry in general have historically been, and are expected to remain, highly cyclical in nature. Similarly, but not necessarily paralleling the price fluctuations in the steel business, the purchase prices for automobile bodies and various other grades of obsolete and industrial scrap, as well as the selling prices for processed and recycled scrap metals we utilize in our own manufacturing process, or which we resell to others through our metals recycling operations, are also volatile. During periods of excess domestic supply or increased imports, scrap metal prices may become or remain depressed and adversely affect the sales, profitability and margins of our scrap business. As a metals recycler, we may attempt to respond to changing recycled metal selling prices by adjusting the scrap metal purchase prices we pay to others, but our ability to do this may be limited by competitive or other factors during periods of low scrap prices, when inbound scrap flow may slow considerably, as scrap generators hold on to their scrap in hopes of getting higher prices later. As such, a prolonged period of low scrap prices could reduce our ability to obtain, process, and sell recycled materials, and this could adversely affect our metals recycling operations’ results. Conversely, periodic increased foreign demand for scrap can result in an outflow of available domestic scrap, as well as resulting higher scrap prices domestically that cannot always be passed on to domestic scrap consumers, thereby further reducing available domestic scrap flows and scrap margins, all of which could adversely affect our sales and profitability of our metals recycling operations. Additionally, during periods of high demand and resulting higher scrap prices, ferrous scrap consumers may seek and develop ferrous scrap alternatives, including pig iron and DRI. The availability and pricing of these
scrap alternatives in the domestic market may have a longer-term impact on scrap pricing, particularly in prime grades, which could adversely affect our sales, profitability and margins.
Volatility and major fluctuations in prices and availability of scrap metal, scrap substitutes, and supplies, and our potential inability to pass higher costs on to our customers, may constrain operating levels and reduce profit margins.
Steel producers require large amounts of raw materials, including scrap metal and scrap substitute products such as pig iron, pelletized iron and other supplies such as zinc, graphite electrodes and ferroalloys. Our principal raw material is scrap metal derived primarily from industrial scrap and end-of-life automobiles, appliances, railroad cars, railroad track materials, agricultural machinery and demolition scrap from obsolete structures, containers and machines. The prices for scrap are subject to market forces largely beyond our control, including demand by United States and international steel producers, freight costs and speculation. The prices for scrap have varied significantly in the past, may vary significantly in the future and do not necessarily fluctuate in tandem with the price of steel. Moreover, some of our integrated steel producer competitors are not as dependent as we are on scrap as a part of their raw material melt mix, which, during periods of high scrap costs relative to the cost of blast furnace iron used by the integrated producers, give them a raw material cost advantage over mini-mills. While our vertical integration into the metals recycling business, through our OmniSource operations, and into the ironmaking business, through our IDI facility, are expected to enable us to continue being a cost-effective supplier to our own steelmaking operations, for some of our metallics requirements, we will still need to rely on other metallics and raw material suppliers, as well as upon general industry supply conditions for the balance of our needs.
Purchase prices for auto bodies, scrap metal and scrap substitute products such as pig iron that we consume and selling prices for scrap and recycled metals that we sell to third parties are volatile and beyond our control. While OmniSource attempts to respond to changing recycled metal selling prices through adjustments to its metal purchase prices, its ability to do so is limited by competitive and other market factors. Changing prices could potentially impact the volume of scrap metal available to us and the volume and realized margins of processed metals we sell.
The availability and prices of raw materials may also be negatively affected by new or existing laws and regulations, allocation by suppliers, interruptions in production, accidents or natural disasters, changes in exchange rates, global price fluctuations, the availability and cost of transportation, and competing uses for raw materials. As a major producer of galvanized steel products, we purchase and consume a large amount of zinc, which if purchased at high prices, may have an effect on our profit margins. Due to its use in other industries, demand for the primary raw material (needle coke) used in the production of graphite electrodes, a critical raw material in our steelmaking, has expanded in recent years, leading to increased price. Any inability to secure a consistent, cost effective and timely supply of our raw materials and supplies could have an adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations and cash flows.
If prices for ferrous metallics increase by a greater margin than corresponding price increases for the sale of our steel products, we may not be able to recoup such cost increases from increases in the selling prices of steel products. Conversely, depressed prices for ferrous scrap may constrain its supply, which may adversely affect our metals recycling operations and also the availability of certain grades of scrap for our steelmaking operations. Additionally, our inability to pass on all or any substantial part of any cost increases during periods of rapidly rising scrap prices, through scrap or other surcharges, or to provide for our customers’ needs because of the potential unavailability of key raw materials or other inputs, may result in production slowdowns or curtailments or may otherwise have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations and cash flows.
The cost and availability of electricity, natural gas, oil and other energy resources are subject to volatile market conditions.
Steel producers like us consume large amounts of energy to melt ferrous scrap in electric arc furnaces and reheat steel for rolling into finished products. We rely on third parties for the supply of energy resources we consume in our steelmaking activities. The prices for and availability of electricity, natural gas, oil and other energy resources are subject to volatile market conditions, often affected by weather conditions as well as political, environmental and economic factors beyond our control. As consumers of electricity and natural gas, we must have dependable delivery in order to operate. Accordingly, we are at risk in the event of an energy disruption, including power outages or power unavailability. Prolonged blackouts or brownouts or disruptions caused by natural disasters or by political or environmental considerations would substantially disrupt our production. Since a significant portion of our finished steel products are delivered by truck, unforeseen fluctuations in the price of fuel would also have a negative impact on our costs or on the costs of many of our customers. In addition, changes in certain environmental regulations, including those that may impose output limitations or higher costs associated with climate change or greenhouse gas emissions, could substantially increase the cost of manufacturing and raw materials to us and other steel producers.
Fluctuations in the value of the United States dollar relative to other currencies may adversely affect our business.
Fluctuations in the value of the dollar can be expected to affect our business. A strong United States dollar makes imported products less expensive, potentially resulting in more imports of steel products into the United States by our foreign competitors, while a weak United States dollar may have the opposite impact on imports.
Compliance with and changes in environmental and remediation requirements could result in substantially increased capital requirements and operating costs.
Existing laws or regulations, as currently interpreted or as may be interpreted in the future, as well as future laws or regulations, may have a material adverse effect on our results of operations and financial condition.
We are subject to numerous local, state, federal and international statutory and regulatory environmental requirements relating to, among other things:
|●||the generation, storage, treatment, handling and disposal of solid and hazardous waste and secondary materials;|
|●||the discharge of materials into the air, including periodic changes to the National Ambient Air Quality Standards and to emission standards;|
|●||the management, treatment and discharge of wastewater and storm water;|
|●||the use and treatment of groundwater;|
|●||the remediation of soil and groundwater contamination;|
|●||climate change legislation or regulation;|
|●||the need for and the ability to timely obtain air, water or other environmental permits;|
|●||the timely reporting of certain chemical usage, content, storage and releases;|
|●||the remediation and reclamation of land used for iron mining;|
|●||natural resource protections; and|
|●||the protection of our employees’ health and safety.|
Compliance with environmental laws and regulations, which affect our steelmaking, metals recycling, ironmaking, and copper and aluminum production operations, is a significant factor in our business. We are required to obtain and comply with environmental permits and licenses, and failure to obtain or renew or the violation of any permit or license could result in substantial fines and penalties, capital expenditures, operational changes, suspension of operations and/or the closure of a subject facility. Similarly, delays, increased costs and/or the imposition of onerous conditions to the securing or renewal of permits could have a material adverse effect on these operations.
Uncertainty regarding adequate pollution control levels, testing and sampling procedures, and new pollution control technology are factors that may increase our future compliance expenditures. We are unable to predict the ultimate cost of future compliance with environmental requirements or their effect on our operations. Although we work hard to be in substantial compliance with all applicable laws and regulations, legal requirements frequently change and are subject to interpretation such that regulatory agencies may bring enforcement actions for alleged noncompliance. Private parties might also bring claims against us under citizen suit provisions and/or for property damage or personal injury allegedly resulting from our operations. New laws, regulations and changing interpretations by regulatory authorities, together with uncertainty regarding the application of existing requirements are among the factors that may increase our future expenditures to comply with environmental requirements. The cost of complying with existing laws or regulations as currently interpreted or reinterpreted in the future, or with future laws or regulations, may have a material adverse effect on our results of operations and financial condition.
Our operations produce significant amounts of by-products, some of which are handled as solid or hazardous waste or as hazardous secondary materials. For example, our steel mills generate electric arc furnace (EAF) dust, which the United States Environmental Protection Agency (United States EPA) and other regulatory authorities classify as hazardous waste and regulate accordingly unless recycled in an exempt manner.
In addition, the primary feed materials for the shredders operated by our metals recycling operations are automobile bodies. A portion of the feed materials consist of unrecyclable material known as shredder residue. If laws or regulations or the interpretation of the laws or regulations change with regard to EAF dust or shredder residue or other by-products created by our operations, we may incur significant additional expenditures.
Federal and state environmental laws enable the United States EPA, state agencies and certain private parties to recover from owners, operators, generators and transporters the cost of investigation and cleanup of sites at which wastes or hazardous substances
were disposed. In connection with these laws, we may be required to clean up contamination discovered at our sites including contamination that may have been caused by former owners or operators of the sites, to conduct additional cleanup at sites that have already had some cleanup performed, and/or to perform cleanup with regard to sites formerly used in connection with our operations.
In addition, we may be required to pay for, or to pay a portion of, the costs of cleanup at sites to which we sent materials for disposal or recycling, notwithstanding that the original disposal or recycling activity may have complied with all regulatory requirements then in effect. Under certain laws, a party can be held jointly and severally liable for all of the cleanup costs associated with a disposal site. In practice, a liable party often splits the costs of cleanup with other potentially responsible parties. We have received notices from the United States EPA, state agencies and third parties that we have been identified as potentially responsible for the costs of investigating and cleaning up a number of disposal sites. In most cases, many other parties are also named as potentially responsible parties and also contribute to payment of those costs.
Because cleanup liability can in some cases be imposed retroactively on activities that occurred many years ago, and because the United States EPA and state agencies are still discovering sites that pose a threat to public health or the environment, we can provide no assurance that we will not become liable for significant costs associated with investigation and remediation of cleanup sites.
Increased regulation associated with climate change and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions could impose significant costs on both our steelmaking and metals recycling operations.
The United States government or various other governmental agencies may introduce regulatory changes in response to the potential impacts of climate change. International treaties or agreements may also result in increasing regulation of GHG emissions, including the introduction of carbon emissions limitations or trading mechanisms. Any such regulation regarding climate change and GHG emissions could impose significant costs on our operations and on the operations of our customers and suppliers, including increased energy, capital equipment, emissions controls, environmental monitoring and reporting and other costs in order to comply with current or future laws or regulations concerning climate change and GHG emissions. Any adopted future climate change and GHG regulations could negatively impact our ability, and that of our customers and suppliers, to compete with companies situated in areas not subject to or not complying with such limitations.
From a medium and long-term perspective, we may see an increase in costs relating to our assets that emit significant amounts of GHGs as a result of these regulatory initiatives, which may impact our operations directly or through our suppliers or customers. Until the timing, scope and extent of any future regulation becomes known, we cannot predict the effect on our financial condition, operating performance and ability to compete.
Risks Related to the Business
Our senior unsecured credit facility contains, and any future financing agreements may contain, restrictive covenants that may limit our flexibility.
Restrictions and covenants in our existing debt agreements, including our senior unsecured credit facility, and any future financing agreements, may impair our ability to finance future operations or capital needs or to engage in other business activities. A breach of any of the restrictions or covenants could cause a default under our senior unsecured credit facility, our senior notes, or our other debt. A significant portion of our indebtedness may then become immediately due and payable.
Under our senior unsecured credit facility, we are required to maintain certain financial covenants tied to our leverage and profitability. Our ability to meet such covenants or other restrictions can be affected by events beyond our control. If a default were to occur, the lenders could elect to declare all amounts then outstanding to be immediately due and payable and terminate all commitments to extend further credit.
We may face significant price and other forms of competition from other steel producers, scrap processors and alternative materials, which could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations and cash flows.
The global markets in which steel companies and scrap processors conduct business are highly competitive and became even more so due to consolidations in the steel and scrap industries. Additionally, in many applications, steel competes with other materials, such as aluminum, cement, composites, plastics, carbon fiber, glass and wood. Increased use of alternative materials for any reason, including as a response to regulations such as the Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) requirements, could decrease demand for steel or force other steel producers into new products or markets that compete more directly with us, and combined with increased competition could cause us to lose market share, increase expenditures or reduce pricing, any one of which could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations and cash flows. The global steel industry suffers from overcapacity, and that excess capacity intensifies price competition for some of our products. A decrease in the global demand
for steel scrap, due to market or other conditions, including trade restrictions, generally causes a decrease in the price of scrap metals. A decrease in price could result in some scrap generators exiting the marketplace which could further decrease the availability of scrap. A shortage in the availability of scrap could have a material adverse effect on both our steelmaking and our metals recycling operations and thus on our business, financial condition, results of operations and cash flows.
We are subject to significant risks relating to changes in commodity prices and may not be able to effectively protect against these risks.
We are exposed to commodity price risk during periods where we hold scrap metal inventory for processing or resale. Prices of commodities, including scrap, can be volatile due to numerous factors beyond our control. In an increasing price environment for raw materials, competitive conditions may limit our ability to pass on price increases to our consumers. In a decreasing price environment for processed scrap, we may not have the ability to fully recoup the cost of raw materials that we procure, process, and sell to our customers. In addition, new entrants into the market areas we serve could result in higher purchase prices for raw materials and lower margins from our scrap. Our sales and inventory position may be vulnerable to adverse changes in commodity prices, which could materially adversely impact our operating and financial performance. Thus, we engage in some hedging of certain commodities in futures markets.
Availability of an adequate source of supply is required for our metals recycling operations.
We procure our scrap inventory from numerous sources. These suppliers generally are not bound by long-term contracts and generally have no obligation to sell recyclable metal to us. In periods of low industry scrap prices, scrap suppliers may elect to hold recyclable metal to wait for higher prices or intentionally slow their metal collection activities. If a substantial number of scrap suppliers cease selling recyclable metal to us, we may be unable to recycle metal at desired levels and our results of operations and financial condition could be materially adversely affected. In addition, a slowdown of industrial production in the United States reduces the supply of industrial grades of metal to the metal recycling industry, resulting in our having less recyclable metal available to process and sell.
We are subject to cybersecurity threats and may face risks to the security of our sensitive data and information technology, which may adversely affect our business, results of operations, financial condition and cash flows.
Increased global cybersecurity and information technology security requirements, vulnerabilities and threats and a rise in sophisticated and targeted cybercrime pose a risk to the security and functionality of our systems and information networks, and to the confidentiality, availability and integrity of sensitive data, including intellectual property, proprietary information, financial information, customer, supplier and business partner information, and personally identifiable information, any of which could result in reputational harm and have materially adverse economic consequences. Additionally, such cybersecurity vulnerabilities or attacks could result in an interruption of the functionality of our automated and electronically controlled manufacturing operating systems, which, if compromised, could cease, threaten, delay or slow down our ability to melt, roll or otherwise process steel or any of our other products for the duration of such interruption, which could result in reputational harm, have materially adverse economic consequences and may adversely affect our business, results of operations, financial condition and cash flows. Our customers, suppliers and vendors may also store certain of our sensitive information on their information technology systems, which if breached or attacked, could likewise expose our sensitive information and result in reputational harm and have materially adverse economic consequences.
Although we believe we have adopted procedures and controls to adequately protect our sensitive data, networks and information and operating technology and systems, there can be no assurance that a system or network failure, or cybersecurity breach or attack, will be prevented, whether due to attacks by cyber criminals or due to employee, contractor or other error or malfeasance. This could lead to system interruption, production delays or downtimes and operational disruptions, and the disclosure, modification or destruction of sensitive data, which could have an adverse effect on our reputation, customer, supplier and business partner relationships, financial results and results of operations, and could result in litigation or regulatory investigations, actions, fines or penalties, as well as increased cybersecurity monitoring and protection costs, including the cost of insurance. Additionally, as cybersecurity threats continue to evolve and become more sophisticated, we may need to invest additional time, resources and finances to protect the security of our sensitive data, systems and information networks.
We may face risks associated with the implementation of our growth strategy.
Our growth strategy subjects us to various risks. As part of our growth strategy, we may expand existing facilities, enter into new product or process initiatives, acquire or build additional plants, acquire other businesses and assets, enter into joint ventures, or form strategic alliances that we believe will complement our existing business. These expansions and transactions may involve some or all of the following risks:
|●||the risk of entering product or geographic markets in which we have little experience;|
|●||the risk of a newly constructed steel mill being completed over budget or not on time;|
|●||the risk of not being able to adequately obtain sufficient labor to efficiently build or staff a new steel mill;|
|●||the risk of expected markets, products, customers and demand for products produced by a new steel mill being lower than expected;|
|●||the difficulty of competing for acquisitions and other growth opportunities with companies having materially greater financial resources than us;|
|●||the inability to realize anticipated synergies or other expected benefits;|
|●||the difficulty of integrating new or acquired operations and personnel into our existing operations;|
|●||the potential disruption of ongoing operations;|
|●||the diversion of financial resources to new operations or acquired businesses;|
|●||the diversion of management attention from other business concerns to new operations or acquired businesses;|
|●||the loss of key employees, customers or suppliers of acquired businesses;|
|●||the potential exposure to unknown liabilities;|
|●||the inability of management to maintain uniform standards, controls, procedures and policies;|
|●||the difficulty of managing the growth of a larger company;|
|●||the risk of becoming involved in labor, commercial, or regulatory disputes or litigation related to the new operations or acquired businesses;|
|●||the risk of becoming more highly leveraged;|
|●||the risk of contractual or operational liability to other venture participants or to third parties as a result of our participation;|
|●||the inability to work efficiently with joint venture or strategic alliance partners; and|
|●||the difficulties of terminating joint ventures or strategic alliances.|
Our new Southwest-Sinton Flat Roll Division is under construction in Sinton, Texas, and is planned to commence operations in mid-2021, with an expected cost of approximately $1.9 billion. The project is subject to the above risks, as well as unfavorable weather conditions, natural disasters, delayed equipment deliveries and installations, or other conditions outside our control could increase the cost or delay the commencement of operations of our new EAF steel mill. Additionally, customer, product, or geographic markets we expect to serve may not be as profitable as currently expected, which could have an adverse effect on our prospects, business, financial condition, results of operations and cash flows.
These expansions or transactions might be required for us to remain competitive, but we may not be able to complete any such expansions or transactions on favorable terms or obtain financing, if necessary. Future expansions and transactions may not improve our competitive position and business prospects as anticipated, and if they do not, our business, financial condition, results of operations and cash flows may be adversely affected.
Impairment charges could adversely affect our results of operations.
Occasionally, assumptions that we have made regarding products or businesses we have acquired or sought to develop, about the sustainability of markets we sought to exploit, or about industry conditions that underlie our decision making when we elected to capitalize a venture turn out differently than anticipated. In such instances, the fair value of such assets may fall below their carrying value recorded on our balance sheet.
Accordingly, we periodically test goodwill, and long-lived tangible and intangible assets to determine whether their estimated fair value is in fact less than their value recorded on our balance sheet. If we determine that the fair value of any of these assets, from whatever cause, is less than the value recorded on our balance sheet, we are required to incur non-cash asset impairment charges, such as those recorded in past years, that adversely affect our results of operations. There can be no assurances that continued market dynamics or other factors may not result in future impairment charges.
We are subject to litigation and legal compliance risks which could adversely affect our financial condition, results of operations and liquidity.
We are involved from time to time in various routine litigation matters, including administrative proceedings, regulatory proceedings, governmental investigations, environmental matters, and commercial and construction contract disputes, none of which at the present time are expected to have a material impact on our financial conditions, results of operations or liquidity. For additional information regarding legal proceedings please refer to Item 3. Legal Proceedings.
In addition to risks associated with our environmental and other regulatory compliance, our international operations are subject to complex foreign and United States laws and regulations, including the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and other anti-bribery laws, regulations related to import-export controls, the Office of Foreign Assets Control, and other laws and regulations, each of which may increase our cost of doing business and expose us to increased risk.
Unexpected equipment downtime or shutdowns could adversely affect our business, financial condition, results of operations and cash flows.
Interruptions in our production capabilities could adversely affect our production costs, products available for sale and earnings during the affected period. In addition to equipment failures, our facilities are also subject to the risk of catastrophic loss due to unanticipated events such as fires, explosions or violent weather conditions. Our manufacturing processes are dependent upon critical pieces of steelmaking equipment, such as our electric arc furnaces, continuous casters and rolling equipment, some of which are controlled by our information technology systems, as well as electrical equipment, such as transformers. This equipment may, on occasion, be out of service as a result of unanticipated failures or other events, including cybersecurity breaches or attacks or system failures. We have experienced plant shutdowns or periods of reduced production as a result of such equipment failures and may in the future experience plant shutdowns or periods of reduced production as a result of such equipment failures, or other events. These disruptions could have an adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations and cash flows.
We have incurred, and may incur in the future, costs to idle facilities, idled facility carrying costs, or increased costs to resume production at idled facilities.
Our Minnesota ironmaking operations are indefinitely idled, and should we in the future resume production, we would incur increased costs related to preparing for operation, performing any required repairs and maintenance, and training employees. Should economic or market conditions dictate, we may in the future idle additional facilities, which may require us to incur idling and carrying costs related to those facilities, as well as further increased costs should production be resumed at any idled facility, which could have an adverse effect on our business, financial results, results of operations and cash flows.
Governmental agencies may refuse to grant or renew some of our licenses and permits.
We must receive licenses and air, water and other permits and approvals from state and local governments to conduct certain of our operations or to build, expand or acquire new facilities, such as our new electric arc furnace flat roll steel mill currently under construction in Sinton, Texas. Governmental agencies sometimes resist the establishment of certain types of facilities in their communities, including scrap metal collection and processing facilities. There can be no assurance that future approvals, licenses and permits will be granted or that we will be able to maintain and renew the approvals, licenses and permits we currently hold. Failure to do so could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations and cash flows.
ITEM 1B. UNRESOLVED STAFF COMMENTS
ITEM 2. PROPERTIES
The following table describes our significant properties as of December 31, 2019. These properties are owned by us, and not subject to any significant encumbrances, or are leased by us. We believe these properties are suitable and adequate for our current operations and are appropriately utilized. For additional information regarding our facilities please refer to Item 1. Business.
Steel Operations Segment *
Butler Flat Roll Division:
Flat Roll Steel Mill and Coating Facility
Flat Roll Steel Coating Facility
Liquid Ironmaking Facility
Columbus Flat Roll Division
Flat Roll Steel Mill and Coating Facility
Southwest-Sinton Flat Roll Division
Flat Roll Steel Mill and Coating Facility **
Flat Roll Steel Coating Facilities
Heartland Flat Roll Division
Terre Haute, IN
Flat Roll Steel Rolling and Coating Facility
United Steel Supply
IN, MS, OR, and TX
Distributor of Painted Galvalume® Flat Roll Steel
Structural and Rail Division
Columbia City, IN
Structural and Rail Steel Mill
Engineered Bar Division
Engineered Bar Steel Mill and Finishing Facility
Vulcan Threaded Products
Bar Steel Processing Facility
Roanoke Bar Division
Merchant Bar Steel Mill
Steel of West Virginia
WV, KY, and TN
Specialty Shapes Steel Mill and Finishing
and Coating Facilities
Metals Recycling Operations Segment
Ferrous and Nonferrous Scrap Processing
Ferrous and Nonferrous Scrap Processing
Ferrous and Nonferrous Scrap Processing
Ferrous and Nonferrous Scrap Processing
Sand Springs, OK
Ferrous Scrap Processing
Johnson City, TN
Ferrous and Nonferrous Scrap Processing
Ferrous and Nonferrous Scrap Processing
Steel Fabrication Operations Segment
New Millennium Building Systems:
Joist and Deck Operations
Steel Joist and Deck Fabrication Facility
Steel Joist Fabrication Facility
Joist and Deck Operations
Steel Joist and Deck Fabrication Facility
Steel Joist Fabrication Facility
Joist and Deck Operations
Lake City, FL
Steel Joist and Deck Fabrication Facility
Deck Fabrication Facility
Joist and Deck Operations
Steel Joist and Deck Fabrication Facility
The company’s corporate headquarters is in Fort Wayne, Indiana on 20 owned acres. Our copper rod and wire facility, a controlled subsidiary, is in New Haven, Indiana on 35 owned acres.
* Our 2019 steel mill production utilization was 88% of our estimated annual steelmaking capability.
** Southwest-Sinton Flat Roll Division is under construction, with planned commencement of operations in mid-2021.
ITEM 3. LEGAL PROCEEDINGS
We are involved in various litigation matters, including administrative proceedings, regulatory proceedings, governmental investigations, environmental matters, and commercial and construction contract disputes, none of which are currently expected to have a material impact on our financial condition, results of operations, or liquidity.
We may also be involved from time to time in various governmental investigations, regulatory proceedings or judicial actions seeking penalties, injunctive relief, and/or remediation under federal, state and local environmental laws and regulations. The United States EPA has conducted such investigations and proceedings involving us, in some instances along with state environmental regulators, under various environmental laws, including RCRA, CERCLA, the Clean Water Act and the Clean Air Act. Some of these matters have resulted in fines or penalties, for which a total of $512,000 is recorded in our financial statements as of December 31, 2019.
ITEM 4. MINE SAFETY DISCLOSURES
Information required to be furnished pursuant to Item 4 concerning mine safety disclosure matters by Section 1503(a) of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act and Item 104 of Regulation S-K (17 CFR 229.104), is included in Exhibit 95 to this annual report.
ITEM 5. MARKET FOR REGISTRANT’S COMMON EQUITY, RELATED STOCKHOLDER MATTERS AND ISSUER PURCHASES OF EQUITY SECURITIES
The information required by Item 5 with respect to securities authorized for issuance under equity compensation plans is set forth in Part III, Item 12 of this Form 10-K. Our common stock trades on The NASDAQ Global Select Stock Market under the symbol STLD.
As of February 20, 2020, we had 213,554,449 shares of common stock outstanding and held beneficially by approximately 23,900 stockholders based on our security position listing. Because many of the shares were held by depositories, brokers and other nominees, the number of registered holders (approximately 1,460) is not representative of the number of beneficial holders.
Issuer Purchases of Equity Securities
We purchased the following equity securities registered by us pursuant to Section 12 of the Exchange Act during the three months ended December 31, 2019.
Total Number of Shares Purchased
Average Price Paid per Share
Total Number of Shares Purchased as Part of Publicly Announced Program (1)
Maximum Dollar Value of Shares That May Yet be Purchased Under the Program (in thousands) (1)
Quarter ended December 31, 2019
December 1 - 31
|(1)||On September 4, 2018, we announced that our board of directors had authorized a share repurchase program of up to $750.0 million of our common stock.|
Total Return Graph
ITEM 6. SELECTED FINANCIAL DATA
The following table sets forth the selected consolidated financial and operating data of Steel Dynamics, Inc. The selected consolidated operating, other financial and balance sheet data, as of and for each of the years in the five-year period ended December 31, 2019, were derived from our audited consolidated financial statements. You should read the following data in conjunction with Item 7. Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations and our consolidated financial statements and notes appearing elsewhere in this Form 10-K.
You should also read the following information in conjunction with the data in the table on the following page:
|●||On March 1, 2019, we completed the acquisition of 75% of the equity interest of United Steel Supply, LLC (USS), for a total cash purchase price of $97.1 million. USS operations are reflected in our steel operations from the date of acquisition.|
|●||On June 29, 2018, we completed the acquisition of Heartland Steel Processing, LLC (formerly known as Companhia Siderurgica Nacional, LLC) (Heartland), for a total cash purchase price of $434.0 million. Heartland operations are reflected in our steel operations from the date of acquisition.|
|●||In the fourth quarter of 2017, we recorded a tax benefit related primarily to the impact of the revaluation of the company’s deferred tax assets and liabilities as of December 31, 2017, using the lower federal tax rate enacted in the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017, which increased net income and net income attributable to Steel Dynamics, Inc. by $180.6 million, and basic and diluted earnings per share by $0.75.|
|●||In the fourth quarter of 2016, we recorded a non-cash asset impairment charge associated with the company’s Minnesota ironmaking operations and certain OmniSource assets, which reduced 2016 operating and pretax income by $132.8 million, net income by $89.5 million, net income attributable to Steel Dynamics, Inc. by $76.4 million, and basic and diluted earnings per share by $0.31.|
|●||In the fourth quarter of 2015, we recorded a pretax non-cash asset impairment charge related to goodwill, trade name and certain other assets associated with OmniSource, which reduced 2015 operating income by $428.5 million, and net income and net income attributable to Steel Dynamics, Inc. by $268.7 million, and basic and diluted earnings per share by $1.11.|
Years Ended December 31,
(dollars and shares in thousands, except per share data)
Operating income (loss)
Asset impairment charges reflected in operating income (loss)
Net income (loss)
Net income (loss) attributable to Steel Dynamics, Inc.
Basic earnings (loss) per share
Weighted average common shares outstanding
Diluted earnings (loss) per share
Weighted average common shares and share
Dividends declared per share
Other data (unaudited):
Steel operations segment (net tons)
Metals recycling operations segment
Ferrous metals (gross tons)
Nonferrous metals (thousands of pounds)
Steel fabrication operations segment (net tons)
Steel operations segment production (net tons)
Number of employees
Balance sheet data:
Cash and equivalents and short-term investments
Property, plant and equipment, net
Long-term debt (including current maturities)
Shares outstanding (in thousands)
ITEM 7. MANAGEMENT’S DISCUSSION AND ANALYSIS OF FINANCIAL CONDITION AND RESULTS OF OPERATIONS
This report contains some predictive statements about future events, including statements related to conditions in domestic or global economies, conditions in the steel and recycled metals market places, Steel Dynamics’ revenues, costs of purchased materials, future profitability and earnings, and the operation of new, existing or planned facilities. These statements, which we generally precede or accompany by such typical conditional words as "anticipate," "intend," "believe," "estimate," "plan," "seek," "project" or "expect," or by the words "may," "will," or "should," are intended to be made as “forward-looking,” subject to many risks and uncertainties, within the safe harbor protections of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These statements speak only as of this date and are based upon information and assumptions, which we consider reasonable as of this date, concerning our businesses and the environments in which they operate. Such predictive statements are not guarantees of future performance, and we undertake no duty to update or revise any such statements. Some factors that could cause such forward-looking statements to turn out differently than anticipated include: (1) the effects of uncertain economic conditions; (2) cyclical and changing industrial demand; (3) changes in conditions in any of the steel or scrap-consuming sectors of the economy which affect demand for our products, including the strength of the non-residential and residential construction, automotive, manufacturing, appliance, pipe and tube, and other steel-consuming industries; (4) fluctuations in the cost of key raw materials and supplies (including steel scrap, iron units, zinc, graphite electrodes, and energy costs) and our ability to pass on any cost increases; (5) the impact of domestic and foreign imports, including trade policy, restrictions, or agreements; (6) unanticipated difficulties in integrating or starting up new, acquired or planned businesses or assets; (7) risks and uncertainties involving product and/or technology development; and (8) occurrences of unexpected plant outages or equipment failures.
More specifically, we refer you to our more detailed explanation of these and other factors and risks that may cause such predictive statements to turn out differently, as set forth in the sections titled Special Note Regarding Forward-Looking Statements at the beginning of Part I of this Report and Item 1A. Risk Factors, as well as in other subsequent reports we file with the Securities and Exchange Commission. These reports are available publicly on the Securities and Exchange Commission website, www.sec.gov, and on our website, www.steeldynamics.com under “Investors – SEC Filings.”
Operating Statement Classifications
Net Sales. Net sales from our operations are a factor of volumes shipped, product mix and related pricing. We charge premium prices for certain grades of steel, product dimensions, certain smaller volumes, and for value-added processing or coating of our steel products. Except for the steel fabrication operations, we recognize revenues from sales and the allowance for estimated returns and claims from these sales at the point in time control of the product transfers to the customer, upon shipment or delivery. Our steel fabrication operations recognize revenues over time based on completed fabricated tons to date as a percentage of total tons required for each contract.
Costs of Goods Sold. Our costs of goods sold represent all direct and indirect costs associated with the manufacture of our products. The principal elements of these costs are scrap and scrap substitutes (which represent the most significant single component of our consolidated costs of goods sold), steel substrate, direct and indirect labor and related benefits, alloys, zinc, transportation and freight, repairs and maintenance, utilities such as electricity and natural gas, and depreciation.
Selling, General and Administrative Expenses. Selling, general and administrative expenses consist of all costs associated with our sales, finance and accounting, and administrative departments. These costs include, among other items, labor and related benefits, professional services, insurance premiums, and property taxes. Company-wide profit sharing and amortization of intangible assets are each separately presented in the statement of income.
Interest Expense, net of Capitalized Interest. Interest expense consists of interest associated with our senior credit facilities and other debt net of interest costs that are required to be capitalized during the construction period of certain capital investment projects.
Other Income, net. Other income consists of interest income earned on our temporary cash deposits and short-term investments; any other non-operating income activity, including income from non-consolidated investments accounted for under the equity method. Other expense consists of any non-operating costs, such as certain acquisition and financing expenses.
Our 2019 consolidated results were challenged by high customer steel inventories, as many customers purchased beyond normal demand levels in late 2018. Underlying domestic steel demand remained steady in 2019, but as customers began to destock
inventories, steel prices declined throughout the year in conjunction with weakening scrap prices, before firming in the fourth quarter as destocking subsided and inventory levels were right-sized. Declining ferrous scrap prices throughout much of 2019 negatively impacted our metals recycling operations financial results. The non-residential construction market remained strong, resulting in record steel fabrication shipments with increased selling prices and margins compared to 2018. In spite of the market challenges faced by our steel and metals recycling operations, our consolidated net sales of $10.5 billion and cash flows from operations of $1.4 billion were the second-best performance in company history, and our consolidated operating income was our third-best in company history. In addition, our steel fabrication operations segment achieved record shipments of 644,000 tons, resulting in record operating income of $119.1 million.
Consolidated operating income for 2019 decreased $735.5 million, or 43%, to $986.9 million, compared to the record $1.7 billion in 2018. Net income attributable to Steel Dynamics, Inc. for 2019 decreased $587.3 million, or 47%, to $671.1 million, compared to record 2018. Diluted earnings per share attributable to Steel Dynamics, Inc. was $3.04 for 2019, compared to $5.35 for 2018.
Refer to Item 7. Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations in Part II of our Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2018, for additional information regarding results of operations for the year ended December 31, 2018, as compared to the year ended December 31, 2017, and segment operating results for 2018 as compared to 2017.
Acquisition of United Steel Supply, LLC
On March 1, 2019, we purchased 75% of the equity interest of United Steel Supply, LLC (USS) for cash consideration of $93.4 million, plus a customary working capital transaction purchase price adjustment of $3.7 million, which was paid in September 2019. Additionally, we have an option to purchase, and the sellers have the option to require us to purchase, the remaining 25% equity interest of USS in the future. Headquartered in Austin, Texas, USS is a leading distributor of painted Galvalume® flat roll steel used for roofing and siding applications, with distribution centers strategically located in Mississippi, Indiana, Arkansas, and Oregon. USS provides the steel segment a new, complementary distribution channel and connects us to a rapidly growing industry segment with customers that do not traditionally purchase steel directly from a steel producer. USS’s operating results from and after March 1, 2019, are reflected in our financial statements in the steel operations reporting segment.
Segment Operating Results (dollars in thousands)
Steel Operations Segment
Steel operations consist of our electric arc furnace steel mills, producing sheet and long products steel from ferrous scrap and scrap substitutes, utilizing continuous casting and automated rolling mills, with numerous downstream processing and coating lines, as well as IDI, our liquid pig iron production facility that supplies solely the Butler Flat Roll Division. Our steel operations sell a diverse portfolio of sheet and long products directly to end-users, steel fabricators, and service centers. These products are used in a wide variety of industry sectors, including the construction, automotive, manufacturing, transportation, heavy equipment and agriculture, and pipe and tube (including OCTG) markets (see Item 1. Business). Steel operations accounted for 76% and 75% of our consolidated net sales during 2019 and 2018, respectively.
Steel Operations Shipments (tons):
Years Ended December 31,
Steel Operations Segment shipments
Segment Results 2019 vs. 2018
Overall domestic steel demand remained steady during 2019, with continued strength in the automotive, construction and other industrial sectors. However, a challenging steel pricing environment continued throughout 2019, due to customer inventory destocking in conjunction with weakening scrap prices, which led to decreasing steel selling prices compared to 2018. Steel operations segment shipments decreased 2% in 2019, as compared to 2018. Net sales for the steel operations decreased 11% in 2019
when compared to 2018, due primarily to decreases in overall steel selling prices, particularly in sheet steel, and decreased steel mill shipments.
Ferrous raw materials used in our electric arc furnaces represent our single most significant steel manufacturing cost, generally comprising approximately 55 to 60 percent of our steel mill operations’ manufacturing costs. Our metallic raw material cost per net ton consumed in our steel operations decreased $48, or 14%, in 2019 compared to 2018, consistent with overall decreased domestic scrap pricing.
As a result of average selling prices decreasing more than scrap costs, metal spread (which we define as the difference between average steel mill selling prices and the cost of ferrous scrap consumed in our steel mills) decreased 10% in 2019 compared to the record-high 2018. Due to this metal spread contraction, most notably in sheet steel, operating income for the steel operations decreased 44%, to $1.0 billion, in 2019 compared to the record results in 2018.
Metals Recycling Operations Segment
Metals recycling operations consists solely of OmniSource and includes both ferrous and nonferrous scrap metal processing, transportation, marketing, and brokerage services, strategically located primarily in close proximity to our steel mills and other end-user scrap consumers throughout the eastern half of the United States. In addition, OmniSource designs, installs, and manages customized scrap management programs for industrial manufacturing companies at hundreds of locations throughout North America. Our steel mills utilize a large portion (approximately 65%) of the ferrous scrap sold by OmniSource as raw material in our steelmaking operations, and the remainder is sold to other consumers, such as other steel manufacturers and foundries. Metals recycling operations accounted for 11% and 13% of our consolidated net sales during 2019 and 2018, respectively.
Metals Recycling Operations Shipments:
Years Ended December 31,
Ferrous metal (gross tons)
Nonferrous metals (thousands of pounds)