Are the prospects for steel producers looking bright in 2017? Yes they are if enquiries for used steel processing equipment are a fair barometer.

CJM Asset Management, a firm of chartered surveyors specialising in the valuation and sale of used steel and aluminium plant report a significant upturn in enquiries over recent months.

CJM managing director Charles Moses commented “After two or three years with interest in used mills and processing equipment almost non-existent, enquiries have increased significantly since the middle of last year with over 40 enquiries for the Voestalpine Wire Rod Mill in Austria and a successful sale of almost all the stainless processing plant from Outokumpu’s precision strip plant at Kloster. In addition we have concluded sales of two welded tube mills for SSAB in Sweden and also finalised the sale of an SMS 18-stand stretch reducing mill at Virsbo for Ruukki. Charles noted: “There seems to have been a general uplift in confidence from steel producers across the globe, with particular interest from India, Indonesia and Iran, although selling to the latter is still proving to be a bureaucratic nightmare.”

Among assets currently on the market with CJM Asset Management two plate mills stand out – one from German heavy plate specialist, Reiner Brach GmbH, which has closed following the retirement of the owner, and another from CUU Heavy Products from Hai Phong in Vietnam where the plant previously specialised in rolling shipbuilding plate.