big river steel
U.S. Steel CEO David B. Burritt says the firm’s acquisition of Big River Steel is poised to help its bottom line.
Photo courtesy of Big River Steel

US Steel reports Q4 profits to help narrow overall 2020 loss

Steel producer’s CEO says Big River acquisition should bolster bottom line in 2021.

January 29, 2021

Pittsburgh-based United States Steel Corp. has reported fourth-quarter 2020 net earnings of $49 million, helping slightly offset its overall net loss of $1.165 billion for the entire year.

The company’s fourth-quarter 2020 earnings compare with a fourth-quarter 2019 net loss of $668 million and a third-quarter 2020 net loss of $234 million.

U.S. Steel President and CEO David B. Burritt says he is optimistic the company’s growing presence in the scrap-fed electric arc furnace (EAF) steel sector will improve the company’s financial outlook for 2021.

“We finished 2020 strong and are optimistic about the opportunity to deliver incremental value for our stakeholders in 2021,” says Burritt. “With [Arkansas-based EAF producer] Big River Steel now fully part of the U. S. Steel portfolio, we are well-positioned to drive significant earnings growth while delivering our customers an unmatched value proposition. Our future starts now, and we cannot wait to show the world the value that the only ‘Best of Both’ steel company can create.”

The company’s “Best of Both” strategy refers to maintaining a presence in both blast furnace/basic oxygen furnace (BOF) steelmaking and EAF steelmaking. In the EAF sector, U.S. Steel also commenced operation in October 2020 of a 1.6 million-tons-per-year EAF line in Fairfield, Alabama.

“Our performance continues to strengthen as we enter 2021, and we are bullish that the market will continue to be fueled by robust demand, low inventories and supportive raw material prices,” says Burritt.

In 2020, U.S. Steel produced slightly less than 9.2 million tons of steel in the United States and about 3 million tons in Europe for a total of 12.2 million tons. That is an 18.9 percent drop from the slightly more than 15 million tons of steel the company produced in 2019.