SunCoke Energy Inc.
) stated that it expects first quarter 2013 domestic coke
production to be lower than the comparable quarter last year.
First quarter production volume is estimated at 1,051 thousand
tons, down 1.6% from 1,068 thousand tons in first quarter 2012.
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The year-over-year decrease is due to an extra day of production
in the comparable quarter of 2012, which was a leap year. Lower
production from its Indiana Harbor facility can also contribute
to the decline, which was marginally arrested by higher
production at the Middletown facility.
At the fourth quarter 2012 release, SunCoke Energy projected
domestic coke production of 4.3 million tons in 2013. The first
quarter expected production is more or less in-line with this.
Coke is primarily consumed in the steel industry for manufacture
of steel. Its demand depends to a large extend on the growth and
movement in the steel industry. The economic uncertainty has
impacted the U.S. steel industry, on which we presently have a
negative outlook. Since demand for coke is tied with the demand
from the steel industry, the domestic demand for coke might also
It appears that SunCoke is presently trying to expand its
international operations, which will strengthen its operation
given the softness in the domestic markets. In Mar 2013, SunCoke
entered into a partnership with Indian steel major, VISA Steel
Limited to initiate a cokemaking program in that country.
SunCoke Energy Inc. is currently has a Zacks Rank # 3 (Hold).
Utilities which are predominantly based on coal for power
generation and hold a favorable Zacks Rank are
Otter Tail Corporation
). All of these currently carry a Zacks Rank # 2 (Buy) and
warrant a consideration.
Headquartered in Lisle, Illinois, SunCoke Energy is a producer
and supplier of coke needed for the steel making process. The
company has 1,214 full time employees and a market cap of $1.10