Steel manufacturing is a polluting and energy-intensive endeavor with environmental impacts across the supply chain. However, through the use of recycled raw materials and cleaner, more efficient, electric arc furnaces (known as mini-mills), the impacts of steel can be greatly reduced. Nucor utilizes mini-mills for production, which gives the company an advantage over sector peers that operate less efficient integrated steel mills. Nucor has also undertaken other efficiency initiatives, such as the Castrip strip-casting innovation, which uses 90% less energy than conventional steelmaking.
Approximately half of the current steel production in the U.S. utilizes scrap steel as a primary feedstock. Nucor is one of the largest users of scrap steel in the U.S.; the majority of its raw material inputs contain high percentages of pre- and post-consumer content. Nucor has purchased several steel processing businesses, including numerous automobile shredding operations. These acquisitions make the company more vertically integrated and help control the cost and quality of its raw materials. Portfolio 21 will continue to monitor Nucor’s commitment to recycled feedstock through its integration of additional scrap processing facilities.
To the best of our knowledge the above information is accurate and was obtained from sources we believe to be reliable. Neither the information presented above nor any opinion expressed shall be construed as an offer to sell or a solicitation to buy the security. The views expressed are those of portfolio management as of 1/31/13 and may not reflect current opinions or subsequent events.