Steelmaker Nucor reported its first loss in at least 19 years and said results will continue to deteriorate in this quarter as the global recession cuts demand for the metal. The net loss of US$189.6 million compares with net income of $409.8 million a year earlier. Sales dropped 47% to $2.65 billion as shipments fell 43% and the average sale price per ton declined 7%.
Chief Executive Officer Dan DiMicco said that the average price of hot-rolled steel sheet, the benchmark product used in appliances, fell by more than half to $471 a ton in March from a record in July.
Nucor said that its steel mills ran at about 45% of capacity in the first quarter, down from 92% a year earlier and 48% in the fourth quarter.
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