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EX-32.2 - CERTIFICATION OF CHIEF FINANCIAL OFFICER - SCHNITZER STEEL INDUSTRIES INCschnex322_8312018.htm
EX-32.1 - CERTIFICATION OF CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER - SCHNITZER STEEL INDUSTRIES INCschnex321_8312018.htm
EX-31.2 - CERTIFICATION OF CHIEF FINANCIAL OFFICER - SCHNITZER STEEL INDUSTRIES INCschnex312_8312018.htm
EX-31.1 - CERTIFICATION OF CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER - SCHNITZER STEEL INDUSTRIES INCschnex311_8312018.htm
EX-24.1 - POWERS OF ATTORNEY - SCHNITZER STEEL INDUSTRIES INCschnex241_8312018.htm
EX-23.1 - CONSENT OF INDEPENDENT REGISTERED PUBLIC ACCOUNTING FIRM - SCHNITZER STEEL INDUSTRIES INCschnex231_8312018.htm
EX-21.1 - SUBSIDIARIES OF REGISTRANT - SCHNITZER STEEL INDUSTRIES INCschnex211_8312018.htm

UNITED STATES SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION
WASHINGTON, D.C. 20549
FORM 10-K
(Mark One)
x ANNUAL REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE
SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934
For the fiscal year ended August 31, 2018
or
o TRANSITION REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d)
OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934
For the transition period from             to             
Commission File Number 0-22496
SCHNITZER STEEL INDUSTRIES, INC.
(Exact name of registrant as specified in its charter)
OREGON
 
93-0341923
(State of Incorporation)
 
(I.R.S. Employer Identification No.)

299 SW Clay Street, Suite 350
Portland, Oregon
 
97201
(Address of principal executive offices)
 
(Zip Code)
Registrant’s telephone number, including area code: (503) 224-9900
Securities registered pursuant to Section 12(b) of the Act:
Class A Common Stock, $1.00 par value
 
The NASDAQ Global Select Market
(Title of Each Class)
 
(Name of each Exchange on which registered)
Securities registered pursuant to Section 12(g) of the Act:
None
Indicate by check mark if the registrant is a well-known seasoned issuer, as defined in Rule 405 of the Securities Act.
Yes x No o
Indicate by check mark if the registrant is not required to file reports pursuant to Section 13 or Section 15(d) of the Act.
Yes o   No x
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant (1) has filed all reports required to be filed by Section 13 or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to file such reports), and (2) has been subject to such filing requirements for the past 90 days. Yes x    No o
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant has submitted electronically every Interactive Data File required to be submitted pursuant to Rule 405 of Regulation S-T (§232.405 of this chapter) during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to submit such files). Yes x    No o
Indicate by check mark if disclosure of delinquent filers pursuant to Item 405 of Regulation S-K (§229.405) is not contained herein, and will not be contained, to the best of registrant’s knowledge, in definitive proxy or information statements incorporated by reference in Part III of this Form 10-K or any amendment to this Form 10-K. x
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a large accelerated filer, an accelerated filer, a non-accelerated filer, smaller reporting company, or an emerging growth company. See the definitions of “large accelerated filer,” “accelerated filer,” “smaller reporting company,” and “emerging growth company” in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act.
Large accelerated filer
x
Accelerated filer
o
Non-accelerated filer
o
Smaller reporting company
o
Emerging growth company
o
If an emerging growth company, indicate by check mark if the registrant has elected not to use the extended transition period for complying with any new or revised financial accounting standards provided pursuant to Section 13(a) of the Exchange Act.  o  
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a shell company (as defined in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act).
Yes o No x
The aggregate market value of the registrant’s outstanding common stock held by non-affiliates on February 28, 2018 was $892,383,882.
The registrant had 26,502,406 shares of Class A common stock, par value of $1.00 per share, and 200,000 shares of Class B common stock, par value of $1.00 per share, outstanding as of October 22, 2018.
DOCUMENTS INCORPORATED BY REFERENCE
Portions of the registrant’s definitive Proxy Statement for the January 2019 Annual Meeting of Shareholders are incorporated by reference into Part III of this report.



SCHNITZER STEEL INDUSTRIES, INC.
FORM 10-K
TABLE OF CONTENTS
 
 
 
 
PAGE
 
 
 
 
 
 
Item 1
 
Item 1A
 
Item 1B
 
Item 2
 
Item 3
 
Item 4
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Item 5
 
Item 6
 
Item 7
 
Item 7A
 
Item 8
 
Item 9
 
Item 9A
 
Item 9B
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Item 10
 
Item 11
 
Item 12
 
Item 13
 
Item 14
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Item 15
 
Item 16
 
 
 





FORWARD-LOOKING STATEMENTS
Statements and information included in this Annual Report on Form 10-K by Schnitzer Steel Industries, Inc. (the “Company”) that are not purely historical are forward-looking statements within the meaning of Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and are made pursuant to the “safe harbor” provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Except as noted herein or as the context may otherwise require, all references to “we,” “our,” “us,” and “SSI” refer to the Company and its consolidated subsidiaries.
Forward-looking statements in this Annual Report on Form 10-K include statements regarding future events or our expectations, intentions, beliefs and strategies regarding the future, which may include statements regarding trends, cyclicality and changes in the markets we sell into; the Company’s outlook, growth initiatives or expected results or objectives, including pricing, margins, sales volumes and profitability; strategic direction or goals; targets; changes to manufacturing and production processes; the cost of and the status of any agreements or actions related to our compliance with environmental and other laws; expected tax rates, deductions and credits and the impact of federal tax reform; the impact of tariffs, quotas and other trade actions; the realization of deferred tax assets; planned capital expenditures; liquidity positions; ability to generate cash from continuing operations; the potential impact of adopting new accounting pronouncements; obligations under our retirement plans; benefits, savings or additional costs from business realignment, cost containment and productivity improvement programs; and the adequacy of accruals.
Forward-looking statements by their nature address matters that are, to different degrees, uncertain, and often contain words such as “outlook,” “target,” “aim,” “believes,” “expects,” “anticipates,” “intends,” “assumes,” “estimates,” “evaluates,” “may,” “will,” “should,” “could,” “opinions,” “forecasts,” “projects,” “plans,” “future,” “forward,” “potential,” “probable,” and similar expressions. However, the absence of these words or similar expressions does not mean that a statement is not forward-looking.
We may make other forward-looking statements from time to time, including in reports filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission, press releases, presentations and on public conference calls. All forward-looking statements we make are based on information available to us at the time the statements are made, and we assume no obligation to update any forward-looking statements, except as may be required by law. Our business is subject to the effects of changes in domestic and global economic conditions and a number of other risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those included in, or implied by, such forward-looking statements. Some of these risks and uncertainties are discussed in “Item 1A. Risk Factors” of Part I of this Form 10-K. Examples of these risks include: potential environmental cleanup costs related to the Portland Harbor Superfund site or other locations; the cyclicality and impact of general economic conditions; changing conditions in global markets including the impact of tariffs, quotas and other trade actions; volatile supply and demand conditions affecting prices and volumes in the markets for both our products and raw materials we purchase; imbalances in supply and demand conditions in the global steel industry; the impact of goodwill impairment charges; the impact of long-lived asset and cost and equity method investment impairment charges; inability to sustain the benefits from productivity and restructuring initiatives; difficulties associated with acquisitions and integration of acquired businesses; customer fulfillment of their contractual obligations; increases in the relative value of the U.S. dollar; the impact of foreign currency fluctuations; potential limitations on our ability to access capital resources and existing credit facilities; restrictions on our business and financial covenants under our bank credit agreement; the impact of consolidation in the steel industry; inability to realize expected benefits from investments in technology; freight rates and the availability of transportation; the impact of equipment upgrades, equipment failures and facility damage on production; product liability claims; the impact of legal proceedings and legal compliance; the adverse impact of climate change; the impact of not realizing deferred tax assets; the impact of tax increases and changes in tax rules; the impact of one or more cybersecurity incidents; environmental compliance costs and potential environmental liabilities; inability to obtain or renew business licenses and permits or renew facility leases; compliance with climate change and greenhouse gas emission laws and regulations; reliance on employees subject to collective bargaining agreements; and the impact of the underfunded status of multiemployer plans in which we participate.

1 / Schnitzer Steel Industries, Inc. Form 10-K 2018


Table of Contents              SCHNITZER STEEL INDUSTRIES, INC.


PART I

ITEM 1. BUSINESS
General
Founded in 1906, Schnitzer Steel Industries, Inc. (“SSI”), an Oregon corporation, is one of North America’s largest recyclers of ferrous and nonferrous scrap metal, including end-of-life vehicles, and a manufacturer of finished steel products. Worldwide demand for recycled scrap metal is driven primarily by steel production levels, as recycled scrap metal is the primary feedstock for steel mill production using electric arc furnace (“EAF”) technology and one of the raw materials utilized for steel manufacturing using blast furnace technology. Steel mills around the world, including those in the North American domestic market in which our own steel mill operates, are the primary end markets for our recycled scrap metal. Our steel mill in Oregon produces finished steel products using internally sourced recycled scrap metal as the primary raw material and sells to industrial customers primarily in North America.
SSI acquires and recycles autobodies, rail cars, home appliances, industrial machinery, manufacturing scrap and construction and demolition scrap through its 96 auto and metals recycling facilities. We source material through well-developed, regional supply chains that collect scrap from large and small businesses and individuals. Our largest source of autobodies is our own network of 52 retail self-service auto parts stores, which operate under the commercial brand-name Pick-n-Pull. The majority of our auto parts stores are located in close geographic proximity to our regional metals recycling operations which have large-scale shredders and deep water port access. The level of vertical integration of our auto parts stores and metals recycling operations provides for efficient processing of salvaged automobiles into recycled metal products for new metal production in steel mills and smelters globally or for further processing by other consumers.
We process recycled metals ranging from iron and steel to aluminum, copper, lead, stainless steel and zinc for use in the manufacture of new or refined products. With scrap recycling facilities located in 23 States, Puerto Rico and Western Canada, we are well-positioned to efficiently acquire scrap metal throughout North America and deliver recycled metal products to customers around the world from our seven deep water ports, and also to our steel mill in Oregon. In fiscal 2018, we sold our products to customers located in 26 countries, including the United States (“U.S.”) and Canada, and we sold to external customers or delivered to our steel mill an aggregate of 4.3 million tons of ferrous recycled scrap metal and sold 636 million pounds of nonferrous recycled scrap metal to external customers.
Our internal organizational and reporting structure includes two operating and reportable segments: the Auto and Metals Recycling (“AMR”) business and the Cascade Steel and Scrap (“CSS”) business.
AMR is our largest segment, representing 80% of our total revenues from sales to external customers in fiscal 2018. AMR generated 93% of its revenues in fiscal 2018 from sales of ferrous and nonferrous scrap metal, with the remainder generated primarily from retail auto parts and other sales. AMR’s revenues from sales of recycled scrap metal, disaggregated by major product category, were 73% ferrous scrap metal and 27% nonferrous scrap metal in fiscal 2018. Our metals recycling operations reported within CSS also generate revenue from external sales of ferrous and nonferrous scrap metal.
CSS produces finished steel products such as rebar, wire rod, coiled rebar, merchant bar and other specialty products using ferrous recycled scrap metal primarily sourced internally from its metals recycling operations and other raw materials. CSS’s finished steel products are primarily used in nonresidential and infrastructure construction in North America. In fiscal 2018, CSS sold 519 thousand short tons of finished steel products.
See Note 16 – Segment Information in the Notes to the Consolidated Financial Statements in Part II, Item 8 of this report for a discussion of the primary activities of each reportable segment, total assets by reportable segment, operating results from continuing operations by reportable segment, revenues from external customers and concentration of sales to foreign countries.


2 / Schnitzer Steel Industries, Inc. Form 10-K 2018


Table of Contents              SCHNITZER STEEL INDUSTRIES, INC.


Tabular presentation of our active recycling and steel facilities by geographic region and segment is as follows:
 
 
Auto Parts Stores
 
Metals Recycling Facilities(1)
 
Total Recycling Facilities
 
Large-Scale Shredders(2)
 
Deep Water Ports
 
Steel Facilities(3)
 
Segment
Northwest
WA, OR, MT
 
7
 
3
 
10
 
1
 
1
 
 
AMR
 
 
5
 
5
 
1
 
1
 
1
 
CSS
Southwest and Hawaii
CA, NV, UT, HI
 
22
 
7
 
29
 
2
 
2
 
 
AMR
 
 
 
 
 
 
1
 
CSS
Midwest and South
IL, IN, OH, MO, KS, TX, AR
 
14
 
 
14
 
 
 
 
AMR
Northeast
MA, ME, NH, RI
 
2
 
9
 
11
 
1
 
2
 
 
AMR
Southeast and Puerto Rico
GA, AL, TN, FL, VA, PR
 
3
 
16
 
19
 
1
 
1
 
 
AMR
Western Canada
BC, AB
 
4
 
4
 
8
 
 
 
 
AMR
Total
 
52
 
44
 
96
 
6
 
7
 
2
 
 
_____________________
(1)
Excludes joint venture facilities.
(2)
All large-scale shredding operations employ advanced nonferrous extraction and separation equipment.
(3)
Includes one steel mini-mill in Oregon and one distribution center in California.
In fiscal 2017, we substantially completed a multi-year program of cost reduction, productivity improvement, and restructuring initiatives to more closely align our business with market conditions. By the end of fiscal 2017, we had achieved approximately $160 million in combined annual benefits to operating performance since the initial phase of initiatives was announced at the end of fiscal 2012. See Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations in Part II, Item 7 of this report for further discussion of restructuring initiatives, benefits and costs.
AMR
Business
AMR sells ferrous and nonferrous recycled scrap metal in both foreign and domestic markets. AMR acquires, processes and recycles autobodies, rail cars, home appliances, industrial machinery, manufacturing scrap and construction and demolition scrap through its 91 auto and metals recycling facilities. Our largest source of autobodies is our own network of retail auto parts stores, which operate under the commercial brand-name Pick-n-Pull. AMR procures salvaged vehicles and sells serviceable used auto parts from these vehicles through its 52 self-service auto parts stores located across the U.S. and Western Canada. Upon acquiring a salvaged vehicle, we remove catalytic converters, aluminum wheels and batteries for separate processing and sale prior to placing the vehicle in our retail lot. After retail customers have removed desired parts from a vehicle, we may remove remaining major component parts containing ferrous and nonferrous materials, which are primarily sold to wholesalers. The remaining autobodies are crushed and shipped to our metals recycling facilities to be shredded, or sold to third parties where geographically more economical.
To prepare scrap metal, we crush, sort and bale the material by product grade for easier handling and sale. AMR processes mixed and large pieces of scrap metal into smaller pieces by crushing, torching, shearing, shredding and sorting, resulting in scrap metal pieces of a size, density and metal content required by customers to meet their production needs. The manufacturing process includes physical separation of ferrous and nonferrous materials through automated and manual processes into various sub-classifications, each of which has a value and metal content of importance to different customers for their end products. One of the most efficient ways to process and sort recycled scrap metal is through the use of shredding and separation systems.
AMR operates six deep water port locations, five of which are equipped with large-scale shredders. AMR’s largest port facilities in Everett, Massachusetts; Oakland, California; and Tacoma, Washington each operate a mega-shredder with 7,000 to 9,000 horsepower. Our port facilities in Salinas, Puerto Rico and Kapolei, Hawaii each operate a shredder with 1,500 to 6,000 horsepower. Our port facility in Providence, Rhode Island does not operate a shredder, but exports ferrous recycled scrap metal acquired in the regional market. Our shredders are designed to provide a denser product and, in conjunction with advanced separation equipment, a more refined form of ferrous scrap metal which is used efficiently by steel mills in the production of new steel. The shredding process reduces autobodies and other scrap metal into fist-size pieces of shredded recycled scrap metal. The shredded material is then carried by conveyor under magnetized drums that attract the ferrous scrap metal and separate it from the nonferrous scrap metal and other residue, resulting in a consistent and high-quality shredded ferrous product. The nonferrous scrap metal and residue then pass through a series of additional mechanical sorting systems designed to separate the nonferrous metal from the residue.

3 / Schnitzer Steel Industries, Inc. Form 10-K 2018


Table of Contents              SCHNITZER STEEL INDUSTRIES, INC.


The remaining nonferrous metal is then further sorted by product and size grade before being sold. AMR invests in nonferrous metal extraction and separation technologies in order to maximize the recoverability of valuable nonferrous metal and to meet the metal purity requirements of customers. AMR also purchases nonferrous metal directly from industrial vendors and other suppliers and prepares this metal for shipment to customers by ship, rail or truck.
In addition to the sale of recycled metal products processed at our facilities, AMR also brokers the sale of ferrous and nonferrous scrap metal generated by industrial entities and demolition projects to customers in the domestic market.
Products
AMR’s primary products consist of recycled ferrous and nonferrous scrap metal. Ferrous recycled scrap metal is a key feedstock used in the production of finished steel and is largely categorized into heavy melting steel (“HMS”), plate and structural (“bonus”) and shredded scrap (“shred”), although there are various grades of each category depending on metal content and the size and consistency of individual pieces. These attributes affect the product’s relative value. Our nonferrous products include aluminum, copper, stainless steel, nickel, brass, titanium, lead, high temperature alloys and joint products such as zorba (primarily mixed aluminum nonferrous material) and zurik (predominantly stainless steel).
Prior to the shredding process, AMR sells serviceable used auto parts from salvaged vehicles through its self-service auto parts stores located across the U.S. and Western Canada. Each retail self-service store offers an extensive selection of vehicles (including domestic and foreign cars, vans and light trucks) from which customers can remove parts. We employ proprietary information technology systems to centrally manage and operate the geographically diverse network of auto parts stores, and we regularly rotate the inventory to provide customers with greater access to parts. In general, we believe the list prices of auto parts at our self-service stores are significantly lower than those offered at full-service auto dismantlers, retail car parts stores and car dealerships.
Customers
AMR sells its ferrous and nonferrous recycled metal products globally to steel mills, foundries, smelters, and recycled metal processors. AMR’s self-service auto parts stores also serve retail customers seeking to obtain serviceable used auto parts at a competitive price. Retail customers remove the parts without the assistance of store employees and pay a listed price for the part. AMR also supplies a small portion of its scrap metal to CSS’s shredding operation in Portland, Oregon, the substantial majority of which is processed and delivered to CSS’s steel mill.
Presented below are AMR revenues by continent for the last three fiscal years ended August 31 (dollars in thousands):
 
2018
 
% of
Revenue
 
2017
 
% of
Revenue
 
2016
 
% of
Revenue
North America(1)
$
736,494

 
39
 %
 
$
571,620

 
42
 %
 
$
429,997

 
41
 %
Asia
834,038

 
44
 %
 
593,332

 
44
 %
 
433,415

 
41
 %
Europe(2)
298,725

 
16
 %
 
167,576

 
12
 %
 
174,038

 
17
 %
South America
25,277

 
1
 %
 
19,158

 
1
 %
 
23,142

 
2
 %
Africa
14,432

 
1
 %
 
11,932

 
1
 %
 

 
 %
Intercompany sales to CSS
(24,892
)
 
(1
)%
 
(15,647
)
 
(1
)%
 
(12,081
)
 
(1
)%
Total (net of intercompany)
$
1,884,074

 


 
$
1,347,971

 


 
$
1,048,511

 


 ____________________________
(1)
Includes intercompany sales to CSS.
(2)
Includes sales to customers in Turkey.
In fiscal 2018, the five countries from which AMR derived its largest revenues from external customers were the U.S., Turkey, China, Bangladesh, and South Korea, which collectively accounted for 75% of total AMR external revenues. In fiscal 2017 and 2016, the five countries from which AMR derived its largest revenues from external customers accounted for 81% and 85%, respectively, of total AMR external revenues. We attribute revenues from external customers to individual countries based on the country in which the customer takes delivery of the goods.
AMR’s five largest external ferrous scrap metal customers accounted for 33% of external recycled ferrous metal revenues in fiscal 2018, compared to 31% and 37% in fiscal 2017 and 2016, respectively. AMR had no external customers that accounted for 10% or more of consolidated revenues in fiscal 2018, 2017 and 2016.
Total sales volumes of ferrous scrap metal vary from year-to-year due to the level of demand, availability of supply, economic growth, infrastructure spending, relative currency values, availability of credit and other factors. Ferrous scrap metal sales are

4 / Schnitzer Steel Industries, Inc. Form 10-K 2018


Table of Contents              SCHNITZER STEEL INDUSTRIES, INC.


primarily denominated in U.S. dollars, and nearly all of our large shipments of ferrous scrap metal to foreign customers have historically been supported by letters of credit.
The table below sets forth, on a revenue and volume basis, the amount of recycled ferrous scrap metal sold by AMR to foreign and domestic customers, including sales to CSS, during the last three fiscal years ended August 31:
Ferrous Recycled Metal
2018
 
2017
 
2016
 
Revenues(1)
 
Volume(2)
 
Revenues(1)
 
Volume(2)
 
Revenues(1)
 
Volume(2)
Foreign
$
959,001

 
2,623

 
$
608,339

 
2,197

 
$
452,242

 
2,040

Domestic
329,286

 
1,085

 
234,883

 
948

 
173,275

 
859

Total
$
1,288,287

 
3,708

 
$
843,222

 
3,145

 
$
625,517

 
2,899

 _____________________________
(1)
Revenues stated in thousands of dollars.
(2)
Volume stated in thousands of long tons (one long ton = 2,240 pounds).
AMR sells nonferrous recycled scrap metal to specialty steelmakers, foundries, aluminum sheet and ingot manufacturers, copper refineries and smelters, brass and bronze ingot manufacturers, wholesalers, wire and cable producers, and other recycled metal processors globally. AMR invests in advanced separation technologies in order to extract higher nonferrous yields from the shredding process and to enhance the separation of nonferrous metals in order to maximize the grade and value of the individual metals, making them desirable to a wide range of customers.
The table below sets forth, on a revenue and volume basis, the amount of recycled nonferrous scrap metal sold by AMR to foreign and domestic customers during the last three fiscal years ended August 31:
Nonferrous Recycled Metal
2018
 
2017
 
2016
 
Revenues(1)
 
Volume(2)
 
Revenues(1)
 
Volume(2)
 
Revenues(1)
 
Volume(2)
Foreign
$
264,628

 
357,389

 
$
216,362

 
319,629

 
$
186,989

 
290,430

Domestic
217,149

 
214,316

 
178,615

 
221,162

 
143,362

 
183,307

Total
$
481,777

 
571,705

 
$
394,977

 
540,791

 
$
330,351

 
473,737

 ____________________________
(1)
Revenues stated in thousands of dollars.
(2)
Volume stated in thousands of pounds and volume information excludes platinum-group metals (“PGMs”) in catalytic converters.
AMR’s retail auto parts sales account for less than 10% of SSI’s consolidated revenues in all of the periods presented.
Pricing
Domestic and foreign prices for ferrous and nonferrous recycled scrap metal are generally based on prevailing market rates, which differ by region, and are subject to market cycles that are influenced by worldwide demand from steel and other metal producers as well as by the availability of materials that can be processed into saleable scrap metal, among other factors. Trade actions, including tariffs, quotas and restrictions or bans on access to certain markets, can also impact pricing for the affected products. Ferrous scrap metal export sales contracts generally provide for shipment within 30 to 60 days after the price is agreed to which, in most cases, includes freight. Nonferrous scrap metal sales contracts generally provide for shipment within 30 days after the price is agreed to, which also typically includes freight.
AMR responds to changes in selling prices for processed metal by seeking to adjust purchase prices for unprocessed scrap metal in order to manage the impact on its operating income. The spread between selling prices and the cost of purchased scrap metal (metal spread) is subject to a number of factors, including differences in the market conditions between the domestic regions where scrap metal is acquired and the areas in the world to which the processed metals are sold, market volatility from the time the selling price is agreed upon with the customer until the time the scrap metal is purchased, and changes in transportation costs. We believe AMR generally benefits from sustained periods of rising recycled metal selling prices, which allow it to better maintain or increase both operating income and scrap metal flow into its facilities. When recycled scrap metal selling prices decline for a sustained period, AMR’s operating margins typically compress.
The sales prices for auto parts from salvaged vehicles are deeply discounted from prevailing national new and refurbished sales prices offered at full-service auto dismantlers, retail auto parts stores and car dealerships. Our stores provide a list price, available at each location and online. Prices for autobodies sold to third parties and for major component parts, such as engines, transmissions and alternators sold to wholesalers, are based on prevailing scrap market rates which differ by region and are subject to market cycles. Prices for catalytic converters sold to third-party processors are based on prevailing market rates for the extracted metals.

5 / Schnitzer Steel Industries, Inc. Form 10-K 2018


Table of Contents              SCHNITZER STEEL INDUSTRIES, INC.


By consolidating shipments of autobodies and component parts, we are able to optimize prices by focusing on larger wholesale customers that pay a premium for volume and consistency of shipments.
Markets
Global production of finished steel products drives demand for materials used in the steel-making process, including ferrous recycled scrap metal which is the primary feedstock used in EAFs and can also be used in blast furnaces to manufacture steel. AMR exports ferrous recycled scrap metal primarily to countries in Asia, the Mediterranean region and North, Central and South America. Ferrous exports made up approximately 70% of AMR’s total ferrous sales volume in fiscal 2018, 2017 and 2016. In fiscal 2018, the combination of improved U.S. and global economic growth, a continued reduction in the level of Chinese steel exports, and further development of the steel industries using EAFs in other export markets contributed to improved demand and prices for ferrous recycled scrap metal. We believe long-term demand for recycled metals will continue to be driven by factors including global economic growth and an increased focus on environmental policies promoting natural resource conservation, lower greenhouse gas emissions and lower energy costs. We believe the significant environmental benefits and production efficiencies associated with EAF steel-making, which uses scrap metal as a primary raw material, compared to blast furnace steel-making, which primarily uses iron ore mined from natural resources, will positively contribute to worldwide long-term demand for ferrous recycled scrap metal.
Nonferrous exports made up 63%, 59% and 61% of AMR’s total nonferrous sales volumes in fiscal 2018, 2017 and 2016, respectively. While China has historically been the primary destination for our nonferrous exports, AMR sold a higher proportion of its combined nonferrous exports to other countries in Asia and to Europe in fiscal 2018 primarily in response to new regulations, increased inspection requirements and tariffs on U.S. scrap imports put in place by China during the year.
Distribution
AMR delivers recycled ferrous and nonferrous scrap metal to foreign customers by ship and to domestic customers by barge, rail and road transportation networks. Cost efficiencies are achieved by operating deep water terminal facilities in Everett, Massachusetts; Oakland, California; Tacoma, Washington; and Providence, Rhode Island, all of which are owned, except for the Providence, Rhode Island facility which is operated under a long-term lease. We also have access to deep water terminal facilities at Kapolei, Hawaii and Salinas, Puerto Rico through public docks. The use of deep water terminals enables us to load ferrous material in large vessels capable of holding up to 50,000 tons for trans-oceanic shipments. We believe the use of our owned and leased terminal facilities is advantageous because it allows us to more effectively manage loading costs and minimize the berthing delays often experienced by users of unaffiliated terminals. From time to time, AMR may enter into contracts of affreightment, which guarantee the availability of ocean going vessels, in order to manage the risks associated with ship availability and freight costs.
Our nonferrous products are shipped in containers, which hold 20 to 30 tons, from container ports and rail ramps located in close proximity to our recycling facilities. Containerized shipments are exported by marine vessels to customers globally and domestic shipments are typically shipped to customers by rail or by truck.
AMR sells used auto parts from its self-service retail stores. Upon acquiring a salvaged vehicle and after retail customers have removed desired parts, we extract and consolidate certain valuable ferrous and nonferrous components from autobodies for shipment by truck primarily to wholesale customers. The salvaged autobodies are crushed and shipped by truck to our metals recycling facilities where geographically feasible, or to third-party recyclers, for shredding.
Sources of Unprocessed Metal
The most common forms of purchased unprocessed metal are obsolete machinery and equipment, such as automobiles, railroad cars, railroad tracks, home appliances and other consumer goods, waste metal from manufacturing operations and demolition metal from buildings and other infrastructure. Unprocessed metal is acquired from a diverse base of suppliers who unload at our facilities, from drop boxes at suppliers’ industrial sites, and through negotiated purchases from other large suppliers, including railroads, manufacturers, automobile salvage facilities, metal dealers, various government entities and individuals. We typically seek to locate our retail auto parts stores in major population centers with convenient road access. Our auto parts store network spans 15 states in the U.S. and two provinces in Western Canada, with a majority of the stores concentrated in regions where our large shredders are located. Through our network of auto parts stores, we seek to obtain salvaged vehicles from five primary sources: private parties, tow companies, charities, auto auctions and municipal and other contracts. AMR has a program to purchase vehicles from private parties called “Cash for Junk Cars” which is advertised in local markets. Private parties either call a toll-free number and receive a quote for their vehicle or obtain an instant online quote. The private party can either deliver the vehicle to one of our retail locations or arrange for the vehicle to be picked up. AMR also employs car buyers who travel to vendors and bid on vehicles. Further, AMR enters into limited duration contracts with public entities and other third parties for vehicle dismantling and disposal services, which provide a source of low-cost salvage vehicles. The expiration of such contracts may lead us to seek alternative sources of vehicles, potentially at a higher cost.

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The majority of AMR’s scrap metal collection and processing facilities receive unprocessed metal via major railroad routes, waterways or highways. Metals recycling facilities situated near industrial manufacturing and major transportation routes have the competitive advantage of reduced freight costs because of the significant cost of freight relative to the cost of metal. The locations of AMR’s West Coast facilities provide access to sources of unprocessed metal in the Northern California region, northward to Western Canada and Alaska, and to the East, including Idaho, Montana, Utah, Colorado and Nevada. The locations of the East Coast facilities provide access to sources of unprocessed metal in New York, Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Vermont, Eastern Canada and, from time to time, the Midwest. In the Southeastern U.S., approximately half of AMR’s ferrous and nonferrous unprocessed metal volume is purchased from industrial companies, including auto manufacturers, with the remaining volume being purchased from smaller dealers and individuals. These industrial companies provide AMR with metals that are by-products of their manufacturing processes.
The supply of scrap metal from these various sources can fluctuate with the level of economic activity in the U.S. and can be sensitive to variability in scrap metal prices, particularly in the short term. The supply of scrap metal can also fluctuate, to a lesser degree, due to seasonal factors, such as severe weather conditions, which can inhibit scrap metal collections at our facilities and production levels in our yards. Severe weather conditions can also adversely impact the timing of shipments of our products, the level of manufacturing activity utilizing our products, and retail admissions at our auto parts stores.
Backlog
As of September 30, 2018, AMR had a backlog of orders to sell $86 million of export ferrous metal compared to $96 million at the same time in the prior year primarily due to the timing of sales. Additionally, as of September 30, 2018, AMR had a backlog of orders to sell $34 million of export nonferrous metal compared to $34 million in the prior year. We expect to fill the entirety of the backlog of orders for export ferrous and nonferrous metal during fiscal 2019.
Competition
AMR competes in the U.S. and in Western Canada for the purchase of scrap metal with large, well-financed recyclers of scrap metal, steel mills that own scrap yards, and with smaller metals facilities and dealers. AMR’s auto stores compete for the purchase of end-of-life vehicles with other auto dismantlers, used car dealers, auto auctions and metals recyclers. In general, the competitive factors impacting the purchase of scrap metal are the price offered by the purchaser and the proximity of the purchaser to the source of scrap metal and end-of-life vehicles. AMR also competes with brokers that buy scrap metal on behalf of domestic and foreign steel mills.
AMR competes globally for the sale of processed recycled metal to finished steel and other metal product producers. The predominant competitive factors that impact recycled metal sales are price (including duties and shipping cost), reliability of service, product quality, the relative value of the U.S. dollar and the availability and price of raw material alternatives, including scrap metal substitutes such as pig iron and direct-reduced iron (both derived from iron ore), and semi-finished products, such as steel billets. Our ability to compete in certain export markets may be impacted by trade actions such as tariffs and import restrictions. Such restrictions may require us to perform additional processing of certain nonferrous recycled scrap metal products, as well as engage in increased inspection and certification activities, in order to continue selling into the affected markets.
Commencing in fiscal 2012 and spanning through the first half of fiscal 2016, low-priced steel billets using iron ore as their primary raw material contributed to lower scrap metal demand and prices. These challenging market conditions led to an industry trend of reductions in capacity through idling of equipment and curtailment of operations, including by large and well-capitalized companies, while a number of smaller competitors consolidated or exited the scrap market due to the protracted cyclical downturn. In fiscal 2015, we idled a large-scale shredder in Johnston, Rhode Island and another in Surrey, British Columbia, and in fiscal 2016, we idled a small shredder in Concord, New Hampshire to more closely align our business with the prevalent market conditions. In fiscal 2018, the previously idled shredder in Surrey, British Columbia was dismantled and sold. Market conditions improved in fiscal 2017 and further in fiscal 2018 mainly due to higher demand from steel manufacturers in the domestic and export markets resulting in higher selling prices for raw materials used in steel production and increased supply flows of scrap metal, including end-of-life vehicles. Higher average selling prices and supply volumes, in combination with increased sales diversification and the continuing focus on our operating efficiency from our multi-year cost savings and productivity initiatives, led to significant improvement in our operating performance over the last three years.
AMR also competes for the sale of used auto parts to retail customers with other self-service and full-service auto dismantlers. The auto parts industry is characterized by diverse and fragmented competition and comprises a large number of aftermarket and used auto parts suppliers of all sizes, ranging from large, multinational corporations which serve both original equipment manufacturers and the aftermarket on a worldwide basis to small, local entities which have more limited supply. The main competitive factors impacting the retail sale of auto parts are price, availability and visibility of product, quality and convenience of the retail stores to customers.

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AMR’s ability to process substantial volumes of scrap metal products, advanced processing equipment, number and geographic dispersion of locations, access to a variety of different modes of transportation, and the operating synergies of its integrated platform provide its business with the ability to compete successfully in varying market conditions.
CSS
Business
CSS operates a steel mini-mill in McMinnville, Oregon that produces a range of finished steel long products such as reinforcing bar (rebar) and wire rod. The primary feedstock for the manufacture of its products is ferrous recycled scrap metal. CSS’s steel mill obtains substantially all of its scrap metal raw material requirements from its integrated metals recycling and joint venture operations. CSS’s metals recycling operations comprise a collection, shredding and export operation in Portland, Oregon, four feeder yard operations located in Oregon and Southern Washington, and one metals recycling joint venture ownership interest. Additionally, CSS purchases small volumes of ferrous scrap metal from AMR and sells ferrous and nonferrous recycled scrap metal into the export market. CSS’s revenues from external sales of recycled scrap metal account for less than 10% of SSI’s consolidated revenues in all of the periods presented.
Manufacturing
CSS’s melt shop includes an EAF, a ladle refining furnace with enhanced steel chemistry refining capabilities, and a five-strand continuous billet caster, permitting the mill to produce special alloy grades of steel not currently produced by other mills on the West Coast of the U.S. The melt shop produced 561 thousand, 489 thousand and 499 thousand short tons of steel in the form of billets during fiscal 2018, 2017 and 2016, respectively. The substantial majority of these billets are used by CSS in its rolling mill to produce finished steel products.
Through the end of fiscal 2016, CSS operated two computerized rolling mills. In the first quarter of fiscal 2017, we implemented a plan to shut down and decommission the older rolling mill, which was entered into service over 40 years ago, and which in recent years had been producing only a small proportion of CSS’s finished steel products. This action, in conjunction with an initiative to enhance the operating efficiency of the newer and more technologically advanced rolling mill, is expected to improve product quality, while expanding its overall effective annual production capacity. The newer rolling mill currently has an effective annual production capacity of 580 thousand tons of finished steel products.
Billets produced in CSS’s melt shop are reheated in a natural gas-fueled furnace and are then hot-rolled through the rolling mill to produce finished products. CSS continues to monitor the market for new products and, through discussions with customers, to identify additional opportunities to expand its product lines and sales.
Our steel mill has an operating permit issued under Title V of the Clean Air Act Amendments of 1990, which governs air quality standards. The permit is based upon an annual production capacity of 950 thousand tons. The permit was first issued in 1998 and has since been renewed through February 1, 2018. The permit renewal process occurs every five years, and the renewal process is underway; however, the existing permit is extended by administrative rule until the current renewal process is finalized.
Products
CSS produces semi-finished goods (billets) and finished goods, consisting of rebar, coiled rebar, wire rod, merchant bar and other specialty products. Semi-finished goods are predominantly used for CSS’s finished products, but also have been produced for sale to other steel mills. Rebar is produced in either straight length steel bars or coils and used to increase the strength of poured concrete. Coiled rebar is preferred by some manufacturers because it reduces the waste generated by cutting individual lengths to meet customer specifications and, therefore, improves yield. Wire rod is steel rod, delivered in coiled form, used by manufacturers to produce a variety of products such as chain link fencing, nails, wire, stucco netting, and pre-stressed concrete strand. Merchant bar consists of rounds and square steel bars used by manufacturers to produce a wide variety of products, including bolts, threaded bars, and dowel bars. CSS is also certified to produce high-quality rebar to support nuclear power plant construction and has a license to produce certain patented high-strength specialty steels.
The table below sets forth, on a revenue and volume basis, the sales of finished steel products during the last three fiscal years ended August 31:
 
2018
 
2017
 
2016
 
Revenues(1)
 
Volume(2)
 
Revenues(1)
 
Volume(2)
 
Revenues(1)
 
Volume(2)
Finished steel products
$
363,849

 
519,162

 
$
280,206

 
495,516

 
$
269,355

 
488,212

_____________________________
(1)
Revenues stated in thousands of dollars.
(2)
Volume stated in short tons (one short ton = 2,000 pounds).


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The metals recycling operations within CSS produce substantially the same recycled scrap metal products as those produced by the metals recycling operations within AMR and are exposed to similar market and competitive forces.
Customers
CSS’s finished steel customers are primarily steel service centers, construction industry subcontractors, steel fabricators, wire drawers and major farm and wood products suppliers. During fiscal 2018, CSS sold its finished steel products to customers located primarily in the Western U.S. and Western Canada. Customers in California accounted for 48%, 53%, and 48% of CSS’s steel revenues in fiscal 2018, 2017 and 2016, respectively. CSS’s ten largest steel customers accounted for 46%, 51% and 45% of its steel revenues during fiscal 2018, 2017 and 2016, respectively. No CSS steel customer accounted for 10% or more of consolidated revenues in fiscal 2018, 2017 and 2016.
The metals recycling operations within CSS also sell ferrous and nonferrous recycled metal products to external customers comprising primarily steel mills, foundries, smelters and recycled metal processors in Asia.
Pricing
CSS’s finished steel product prices differ by product size and grade. Selling prices are influenced by the price of raw materials, including the cost of recycled ferrous scrap metal and required consumables including graphite electrodes, as well as regional demand in the West Coast market. Selling prices for our finished steel products may be affected by competition from steel imports.
Distribution
CSS sells finished steel products directly from its mini-mill in McMinnville, Oregon and its owned distribution center in City of Industry, California (Los Angeles area). Finished steel products are shipped from the mini-mill to the distribution center primarily by rail. The distribution center facilitates sales by maintaining an inventory of products close to major customers for just-in-time delivery. CSS communicates regularly with major customers to determine their anticipated needs and plans its rolling mill production schedule accordingly. Finished steel shipments to customers are made by common carrier, primarily truck or rail.
CSS delivers recycled ferrous scrap metal to export customers by bulk ship using its deep water terminal facility in Portland, Oregon, and nonferrous recycled scrap metal to export customers in containers by ship.
Supply of Scrap Metal
We believe CSS operates the only mini-mill in the Western U.S. that obtains its scrap metal requirements from an integrated metals recycler. CSS’s metals recycling operations provide its steel mill with a mix of recycled metal grades, which allows the mill to achieve optimum efficiency in its melting operations.
Energy Supply
CSS needs electricity to run its steel manufacturing operations, primarily its EAF. CSS purchases electricity under a long-term contract with McMinnville Water & Light (“MW&L”), which in turn relies on the Bonneville Power Administration (“BPA”). We entered into our current contract with MW&L in October 2011 that will expire in September 2028.
CSS’s steel manufacturing operations also need natural gas to run its reheat furnace, which is used to reheat billets prior to running them through the rolling mill. CSS meets this demand through a natural gas agreement with a utility provider that obligates CSS at each month-end to purchase a volume of gas based on its projected needs for the immediately subsequent month on a take-or-pay basis priced using published natural gas indices.
Energy costs represented 4%, 5%, and 6% of CSS’s cost of goods sold in fiscal 2018, 2017 and 2016, respectively.
Backlog
As of September 30, 2018 and 2017, CSS had a backlog of finished steel orders of $33 million and $19 million, respectively. We expect to fill the entirety of the backlog of orders for finished steel products during fiscal 2019.
Competition
The primary domestic competitors of CSS for the sale of finished steel products include Nucor Corporation’s manufacturing facilities in Arizona, Utah and Washington; Commercial Metals Company’s manufacturing facility in Arizona; and Gerdau Long Steel North America’s facility in California (which Commercial Metals Company has agreed to acquire). In addition to domestic competition, CSS competes with foreign steel producers, principally located in Asia, Canada, Mexico and Central and South America, primarily in shorter length rebar and certain wire rod grades. The principal competitive factors in CSS’s market are price, quality, service, product availability and the relative value of the U.S. dollar.
In recent years, relatively large volumes of low-priced steel imports, driven by global overcapacity in steel-making production and by the relative strength of the U.S. dollar, negatively impacted CSS’s ability to compete. For more than a decade, CSS’s steel

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manufacturing operation, as part of a U.S. industry coalition, has petitioned the U.S. Government under our international trade laws for relief in the form of antidumping and countervailing duties against wire rod and rebar products from a number of foreign countries. Many of those cases were successful and led to a decrease in finished steel imports into CSS’s domestic markets from the peak reached in fiscal 2016. As of the start of fiscal 2018, antidumping duty orders were in effect related to imports of rebar from Belarus, China, Indonesia, Japan, Latvia, Mexico, Moldova, Poland, Taiwan, Turkey and Ukraine; a countervailing duty order was in effect related to imports of rebar from Turkey; antidumping duty orders were in effect related to imports of wire rod from Brazil, China, Indonesia, Mexico, Moldova and Trinidad and Tobago; and countervailing duty orders were in effect related to imports of wire rod from Brazil and China. During 2018, following a petition by the U.S. domestic industry and successful resolution, new antidumping duty orders were imposed against wire rod from Belarus, Italy, South Korea, Russia, South Africa, Spain, Turkey, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates and the United Kingdom, and countervailing duty orders were imposed against wire rod from Italy and Turkey.
The duties imposed as part of these orders are periodically reassessed through the administrative review process. In addition, every five years the U.S. Government conducts sunset reviews to determine whether revocation of the orders would likely lead to resumption of dumping and subsidization and negatively impact the U.S. domestic industry. Affirmative decisions allow the orders to continue for an additional five years. The sunset review for rebar from Belarus, China, Indonesia, Latvia, Moldova, Poland and Ukraine was initiated in June 2018 and, following an affirmative decision, orders covering these countries will be in place for another five years. The next sunset review for Mexico and Turkey (from the 2014 investigation) will be in 2019 and for the newest order covering imports from Japan, Taiwan and Turkey will be in 2022. The next sunset reviews for wire rod from Brazil, China, Indonesia, Mexico, Moldova and Trinidad and Tobago will be in 2019, and for the remaining countries, likely in 2022.
During fiscal 2018, the antidumping margins on one large Mexican manufacturer of both wire rod and rebar were decreased significantly in the administrative review process.
There are antidumping and countervailing duty orders in effect in Canada covering rebar from Belarus, China, Chinese Taipei, Hong Kong, Japan, South Korea, Portugal, Spain and Turkey which we expect will continue to lead to a reduction in the volume of imports into Canada from these countries.
The long-term effectiveness of existing antidumping and countervailing duty orders related to imports of wire rod and rebar products is largely uncertain and is impacted by the U.S. Government’s ability to efficiently identify and respond to violations of U.S. international trade laws affecting CSS’s steel manufacturing operations.
On March 8, 2018, the President of the United States announced the imposition of tariffs in the amount of 25 percent and 10 percent on imports of steel and aluminum, respectively. The imposition of the tariffs was the conclusion of an investigation started in April 2017 under Section 232 of the Trade Expansion Act of 1962 that allows for an exemption from normal international trade rules if imports of a product are harming national security. Currently, imports from Argentina, Australia, Brazil and South Korea are exempt from these duties pursuant to various agreements, including quotas. The Department of Commerce also implemented an exclusion process whereby U.S. entities can request that certain products be excluded from the duties. CSS reviews any exclusion requests relevant to its product line to determine whether an objection might be appropriate. Canada, Mexico and the European Union have implemented retaliatory tariffs. The Canadian retaliatory tariffs, enacted in July 2018, impose a 25 percent tariff on U.S. steel products and may impact CSS’s ability to export its steel products to Canada at competitive prices. Sales of finished steel products to customers in Canada represented 7% of our steel mill’s external sales in fiscal 2018, and 6% in each of fiscal 2017 and 2016.

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Environmental Matters
Impact of Legislation and Regulation
Compliance with environmental laws and regulations is a significant factor in our operations. Our businesses are subject to extensive local, state and federal environmental protection, health, safety and transportation laws and regulations relating to, among others:
The United States Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”);
Remediation under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act (“CERCLA”);
The discharge of materials and emissions into the air;
The prevention and remediation of soil and groundwater contamination;
The management, treatment and discharge of wastewater and storm water;
Climate change;
The generation, discharge, storage, handling and disposal of hazardous materials and secondary materials; and
The protection of our employees’ health and safety.
These environmental laws regulate, among other things, the release and discharge of hazardous materials into the air, water and ground; exposure to hazardous materials; and the identification, storage, treatment, handling and disposal of hazardous materials.
Concern over climate change, including the impact of global warming, has led to significant U.S. and international regulatory and legislative initiatives to limit greenhouse gas (“GHG”) emissions. In 2007, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the EPA was authorized to regulate carbon dioxide under the U.S. Clean Air Act. The EPA subsequently initiated a series of regulatory efforts aimed at addressing greenhouse gases as pollutants, including finding that GHG emissions endanger public health, implementing mandatory GHG emission reporting requirements, and setting carbon emission standards for light-duty vehicles.
Environmental legislation and regulations have changed rapidly in recent years, and it is likely that we will be subject to even more stringent environmental standards in the future. Legislation has been proposed in the U.S. Congress to address GHG emissions and global climate change, including “cap and trade” programs, and some form of federal climate change legislation or additional federal regulation is possible. A number of states, including states in which we have operations and facilities, have considered, are considering or have already enacted legislation to develop information or address climate change and GHG emissions, including state-level “cap and trade” programs. Currently, we are required to annually report GHG emissions from our steel mill to the State of Oregon Department of Environmental Quality and the EPA.
Although our objective is to maintain compliance with applicable environmental laws and regulations, we have, in the past, been found to be not in compliance with certain environmental laws and regulations and have incurred liabilities, expenditures, fines and penalties associated with such violations. In December 2000, we were notified by the EPA that we are one of the potentially responsible parties that owns or operates, or formerly owned or operated, sites which are part of or adjacent to the Portland Harbor Superfund site. Further, we have been notified that we are or may be a potentially responsible party at sites other than Portland Harbor currently or formerly owned or operated by us or at other sites where we may have responsibility for such costs due to past disposal or other activities. See discussion in Part I, Item 1A. Risk Factors and Note 8 – Commitments and Contingencies in the Notes to the Consolidated Financial Statements in Part II, Item 8 of this report.
In fiscal 2018, capital expenditures related to environmental projects were $20 million, and we expect to spend in the range of $20 million on capital expenditures related to environmental projects in fiscal 2019, excluding additional environmental projects currently under review.
Indirect Consequences of Future Legislation and Regulation
Future legislation or increased regulation regarding climate change and GHG emissions could impose significant costs on our business and our customers and suppliers, including increased energy, capital equipment, emissions controls, environmental monitoring and reporting and other costs in order to comply with laws and regulations concerning and limitations imposed on climate change and GHG emissions. The potential costs of allowances, taxes, fees, offsets or credits that may be part of “cap and trade” programs or similar future legislative or regulatory measures are still uncertain and the future of these programs or measures is unknown. Any adopted future climate change and GHG laws or regulations could negatively impact our ability (and that of our customers and suppliers) to compete with companies situated in areas not subject to or complying with such limitations. Furthermore, even without such laws or regulations, increased awareness and any adverse publicity in the global marketplace about the GHGs emitted by companies in the metals recycling and steel manufacturing industries could harm our reputation and reduce customer demand for our products.

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GHG legislation and regulation is expected to have an effect on the price of electricity, especially electricity generated using carbon-based fuels. Since the electricity supply for CSS includes a significant element of hydro-generated production, CSS’s energy costs are less likely to be impacted than those of competitors using electricity generated by carbon-based fuels. In addition, demand for scrap metal may increase from mills with blast furnaces as they seek to maximize the scrap metal component of raw material infeed, which requires less energy than melting iron ore.
Since the use of recycled iron and steel instead of iron ore to make new steel results in savings in the consumption of energy, virgin materials and water and reduces mining wastes, we believe our recycled metal products position us to be more competitive in the future for business from companies wishing to reduce their carbon footprint and impact on the environment. In addition, our EAF generates significantly less GHG emissions than traditional blast furnaces.
Physical Impacts of Climate Change on Our Costs and Operations
There has been public discussion that climate change may be associated with rising sea levels as well as extreme weather conditions such as more intense hurricanes, thunderstorms, tornadoes and snow or ice storms. Extreme weather conditions may increase our costs or cause damage to our facilities, and any damage resulting from extreme weather may not be fully insured. As many of our recycling facilities are located near deep water ports, rising sea levels may disrupt our ability to receive scrap metal, process the scrap metal through our shredders and ship products to our customers. Periods of extended adverse weather conditions may inhibit construction activity utilizing our products, scrap metal inflows to our recycling facilities, and retail admissions and parts sales at our auto parts stores.
Employees
As of September 30, 2018, we had 3,575 full-time employees, consisting of 2,796 employees at AMR, 586 employees at CSS and 193 corporate administrative and shared services employees. Of these employees, 764 were covered by collective bargaining agreements. The Cascade Steel Rolling Mills contract with the United Steelworkers of America, which covers 281 of these employees, was renewed and ratified in April 2016 and will expire on March 31, 2019. We believe that in general our labor relations are good.
Available Information
Our Internet website address is www.schnitzersteel.com. We make available on our website, free of charge, under the caption “Investors – SEC Filings” our annual report on Form 10-K, quarterly reports on Form 10-Q, current reports on Form 8-K, and amendments to those reports as soon as reasonably practicable after electronically filing with or furnishing such materials to the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) pursuant to Sections 13(a) or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. Also available on our website are our definitive Proxy Statements and ownership reports pursuant to Section 16(a) of the Securities Act of 1933. Copies of these filings may also be obtained from the SEC’s website (www.sec.gov) or by visiting the Public Reference Room of the SEC at 100 F Street, NE, Washington, D.C. 20549. Information on the operation of the Public Reference Room may be obtained by calling the SEC at 1-800-SEC-0330.
We may use our website as a channel of distribution of material Company information. Financial and other material information regarding our Company is routinely posted on and accessible at http://www.schnitzersteel.com/investors.aspx. You may register your e-mail under the caption “Investors – E-mail Alerts” to receive e-mail notifications of new company information.
The content of our website is not incorporated by reference into this Annual Report on Form 10-K.
ITEM 1A. RISK FACTORS
Described below are risks, which are categorized as “Risk Factors Relating to Our Business,” “Risk Factors Relating to the Regulatory Environment” and “Risk Factors Relating to Our Employees,” that could have a material adverse effect on our results of operations, financial condition and cash flows or could cause actual results to differ materially from the results contemplated by the forward-looking statements contained in this Annual Report. See “Forward-Looking Statements” that precedes Part I of this report. Additional risks and uncertainties that we are unaware of or that we currently deem immaterial may in the future have a material adverse effect on our results of operations, financial condition and cash flows.
Risk Factors Relating to Our Business
Potential costs related to the environmental cleanup of Portland Harbor may be material to our financial position and liquidity
In December 2000, we were notified by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act (“CERCLA”) that we are one of the potentially responsible parties (“PRPs”) that own or operate or formerly owned or operated sites which are part of or adjacent to the Portland Harbor Superfund site (the “Site”). The precise nature and extent of cleanup of any specific areas within the Site, the parties to be involved, the timing of any specific remedial action and the allocation of the costs for any cleanup among responsible parties have not yet been

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determined. The process of site investigation, remedy selection, identification of additional PRPs and allocation of costs has been underway for a number of years, but significant uncertainties remain. It is unclear to what extent we will be liable for environmental costs or natural resource damage claims or third party contribution or damage claims with respect to the Site.
While we participated in certain preliminary Site study efforts, we were not party to the consent order entered into by the EPA with certain other PRPs, referred to as the “Lower Willamette Group” (“LWG”), for a remedial investigation/feasibility study (“RI/FS”). During fiscal 2007, we and certain other parties agreed to an interim settlement with the LWG under which we made a cash contribution to the LWG RI/FS. The LWG has indicated that it had incurred over $115 million in investigation-related costs over an approximately 10 year period working on the RI/FS. Following submittal of draft RI and FS documents which the EPA largely rejected, the EPA took over the RI/FS process.
We have joined with approximately 100 other PRPs, including the LWG members, in a voluntary process to establish an allocation of costs at the Site, including the costs incurred by the LWG in the RI/FS process. The LWG members have also commenced federal court litigation, which has been stayed, seeking to bring additional parties into the allocation process.
In January 2008, the Portland Harbor Natural Resource Trustee Council (“Trustee Council”) invited us and other PRPs to participate in funding and implementing the Natural Resource Injury Assessment for the Site. Following meetings among the Trustee Council and the PRPs, funding and participation agreements were negotiated under which the participating PRPs, including us, agreed to fund the first phase of the three-phase natural resource damage assessment. Phase 1, which included the development of the Natural Resource Damage Assessment Plan (“AP”) and implementation of several early studies, was substantially completed in 2010. In December 2017, we joined with other participating PRPs in agreeing to fund Phase 2 of the natural resource damage assessment, which includes the implementation of the AP to develop information sufficient to facilitate early settlements between the Trustee Council and Phase 2 participants and the identification of restoration projects to be funded by the settlements. In late May 2018, the Trustee Council published notice of its intent to proceed with Phase 3, which will involve the full implementation of the AP and the final injury and damage determination. We are proceeding with the process established by the Trustee Council regarding early settlements under Phase 2. It is uncertain whether we will enter into an early settlement for natural resource damages or what costs we may incur in any such early settlement.
On January 30, 2017, one of the Trustees, the Confederated Tribes and Bands of the Yakama Nation, which withdrew from the council in 2009, filed a suit against approximately 30 parties, including us, seeking reimbursement of certain past and future response costs in connection with remedial action at the Site and recovery of assessment costs related to natural resources damages from releases at and from the Site to the Multnomah Channel and the Lower Columbia River. We intend to defend against such claims and do not have sufficient information to determine the likelihood of a loss in this matter or to estimate the amount of damages being sought or the amount of such damages that could be allocated to us.
Estimates of the cost of remedial action for the cleanup of the in-river portion of the Site have varied widely in various drafts of the FS and in the EPA’s final FS issued in June 2016 ranging from approximately $170 million to over $2.5 billion (net present value), depending on the remedial alternative and a number of other factors. In comments submitted to the EPA, we and certain other stakeholders identified a number of serious concerns regarding the EPA’s risk and remedial alternatives assessments, cost estimates, scheduling assumptions and conclusions regarding the feasibility and effectiveness of remediation technologies.
In January 2017, the EPA issued a Record of Decision (“ROD”) that identified the selected remedy for the Site. The selected remedy is a modified version of one of the alternative remedies evaluated in the EPA’s FS that was expanded to include additional work at a greater cost. The EPA has estimated the total cost of the selected remedy at $1.7 billion with a net present value cost of $1.05 billion (at a 7% discount rate) and an estimated construction period of 13 years following completion of the remedial designs. In the ROD, the EPA stated that the cost estimate is an order-of-magnitude engineering estimate that is expected to be within +50% to -30% of the actual project cost and that changes in the cost elements are likely to occur as a result of new information and data collected during the engineering design. We have identified a number of concerns regarding the remedy described in the ROD, which is based on data that is more than a decade old, and the EPA’s estimates for the costs and time required to implement the selected remedy. Because of ongoing questions regarding cost effectiveness, technical feasibility, and the use of stale data, it is uncertain whether the ROD will be implemented as issued. In addition, the ROD did not determine or allocate the responsibility for remediation costs among the PRPs.
In the ROD, the EPA acknowledged that much of the data used in preparing the ROD was more than a decade old and would need to be updated with a new round of “baseline” sampling to be conducted prior to the remedial design phase. Accordingly, the ROD provided for additional pre-remedial design investigative work and baseline sampling to be conducted in order to provide a baseline of current conditions and delineate particular remedial actions for specific areas within the Site. This additional sampling needs to occur prior to proceeding with the next phase in the process which is the remedial design. The remedial design phase is an engineering phase during which additional technical information and data will be collected, identified and incorporated into technical drawings and specifications developed for the subsequent remedial action. Moreover, the ROD provided only Site-wide

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cost estimates and did not provide sufficient detail to estimate costs for specific sediment management areas within the Site. Following issuance of the ROD, EPA proposed that the PRPs, or a subgroup of PRPs, perform the additional investigative work identified in the ROD under a new consent order.
In December 2017, we and three other PRPs entered into a new Administrative Settlement Agreement and Order on Consent with EPA to perform such pre-remedial design investigation and baseline sampling over a two-year period. We estimate that our share of the costs of performing such work will be approximately $2 million, which we recorded to environmental liabilities and selling, general and administrative expense in the consolidated financial statements in fiscal 2018. We believe that such costs will be fully covered by existing insurance coverage and, thus, also recorded an insurance receivable for $2 million in fiscal 2018, resulting in no net impact to our consolidated results of operations.
Except for certain early action projects in which we are not involved, remediation activities are not expected to commence for a number of years. In addition, as discussed above, responsibility for implementing and funding the remedy will be determined in a separate allocation process. We do not expect the next major stage of the allocation process to proceed until after the additional pre-remedial design data is collected.
Because there has not been a determination of the specific remediation actions that will be required, the amount of natural resource damages or the allocation of costs of the investigations and any remedy and natural resource damages among the PRPs, we believe it is not possible to reasonably estimate the amount or range of costs which we are likely to or which it is reasonably possible that we will incur in connection with the Site, although such costs could be material to our financial position, results of operations, cash flows and liquidity. Among the facts currently being developed are detailed information on the history of ownership of and the nature of the uses of and activities and operations performed on each property within the Site, which are factors that will play a substantial role in determining the allocation of investigation and remedy costs among the PRPs. We have insurance policies that we believe will provide reimbursement for costs we incur for defense (including the pre-remedial design investigative activities), remediation and mitigation for natural resource damages claims in connection with the Site, although there is no assurance that those policies will cover all of the costs which we may incur. Significant cash outflows in the future related to the Site could reduce the amount of our borrowing capacity that could otherwise be used for investment in capital expenditures, dividends, share repurchases and acquisitions. Any material liabilities incurred in the future related to the Site could result in our failure to maintain compliance with certain covenants in our debt agreements. See “Contingencies – Environmental” in Note 8 – Commitments and Contingencies in the Notes to the Consolidated Financial Statements in Part II, Item 8 of this report.
We operate in industries that are cyclical and sensitive to general economic conditions, which could have a material adverse effect on our operating results, financial condition and cash flows
Demand for most of our products is cyclical in nature and sensitive to general economic conditions. The timing and magnitude of the cycles in the industries in which our products are used, including global steel manufacturing and residential construction in the U.S., are difficult to predict. The cyclical nature of our operations tends to reflect and be amplified by changes in economic conditions, both domestically and internationally, and foreign currency exchange fluctuations. Economic downturns or a prolonged period of slow growth in the U.S. and foreign markets or any of the industries in which we operate could have a material adverse effect on our results of operations, financial condition and cash flows.
Changing conditions in global markets including the impact of tariffs, quotas and other trade actions may adversely affect our business, financial position and results of operations
We generate a substantial portion of our revenues from sales to customers located outside the U.S., including countries in Asia, the Mediterranean region and North, Central and South America. In each of the last three years, exports comprised approximately 70 percent of AMR’s ferrous sales volumes and 60 percent of AMR’s nonferrous sales volumes. Further, in certain recent years, total sales to customers in each of China and Turkey exceeded 10 percent of our consolidated revenues in that year. Our ability to sell our products profitably, or at all, into international markets is subject to a number of risks including adverse impacts of political, economic, military, terrorist or major pandemic events; labor and social issues; legal and regulatory requirements or limitations imposed by foreign governments including quotas, tariffs or other protectionist trade barriers, adverse tax law changes, nationalization, currency restrictions, or import restrictions for certain types of products we export; and disruptions or delays in shipments caused by customs compliance or other actions of government agencies. The occurrence of such events and conditions may adversely affect our business, financial position and results of operations.
For example, in fiscal 2017, regulators in China began implementing the National Sword initiative involving inspections of Chinese industrial enterprises, including recyclers, in order to identify rules violations with respect to discharge of pollutants or illegally transferred scrap imports. Restrictions resulting from the National Sword initiative include a ban on certain imported recycled products, lower contamination limits for permitted recycled materials, and more comprehensive pre- and post-shipment inspection requirements. Recent disruptions in pre-inspection certifications and stringent inspection procedures at certain Chinese destination ports have limited access to these destinations and resulted in the renegotiation or cancellation of certain nonferrous customer contracts in connection with the redirection of such shipments to alternate destinations. Based on the most current information

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available, we believe that the potential impact on our recycling operations could include requirements that would necessitate additional processing of certain nonferrous recycled scrap metal products as well as increased inspection and certification activities with respect to exports to China, or a change in the use of our sales channels in the event of an outright ban on certain or all of our recycled metals products by China. As regulatory developments progress, we may need to make further investments in nonferrous processing equipment where economically justified, incur additional costs in order to comply with new inspection requirements, or seek alternative markets for the impacted products, which may result in lower sales prices or higher costs and may adversely impact our business or results of operations.
In March 2018, the U.S. imposed a 25 percent tariff on certain imported steel products and a 10 percent tariff on certain imported aluminum products under Section 232 of the Trade Expansion Act of 1962. These new tariffs, along with other U.S. trade actions, have triggered retaliatory actions by certain affected countries, and other foreign governments have initiated or are considering imposing trade measures on other U.S. goods. For example, China has imposed a series of retaliatory tariffs on certain U.S. products, including a 25 percent tariff on all grades of U.S. scrap and an additional 25 percent tariff on U.S. aluminum scrap. These tariffs and other trade actions could result in a decrease in international steel demand and negatively impact demand for our products, which would adversely impact our business. Given the uncertainty regarding the scope and duration of these trade actions by the U.S. or other countries, the impact of the trade actions on our operations or results remains uncertain.
Changes in the availability or price of inputs such as raw materials and end-of-life vehicles could reduce our sales
Our businesses require certain materials that are sourced from third-party suppliers. Although the synergies from our integrated operations allow us to be our own source for some raw materials, particularly with respect to scrap metal for our steel manufacturing operations, we rely on other suppliers for most of our raw material and other input needs, including inputs to steel production such as graphite electrodes and other required consumables. Industry supply conditions generally involve risks, including the possibility of shortages of raw materials, increases in raw material and other input costs, and reduced control over delivery schedules. We procure our scrap inventory from numerous sources. These suppliers generally are not bound by long-term contracts and have no obligation to sell scrap metal to us. In periods of declining or lower scrap metal prices, such as the declining price environment we experienced in fiscal 2015 and the first half of fiscal 2016, suppliers may elect to hold scrap metal to wait for higher prices or intentionally slow their metal collection activities, tightening supply. If a substantial number of suppliers cease selling scrap metal to us, we will be unable to recycle metal at desired levels, and our results of operations and financial condition could be materially adversely affected. A slowdown of industrial production in the U.S. may also reduce the supply of industrial grades of metal to the metals recycling industry, resulting in less recyclable metal available to process and market. Increased competition for domestic scrap metal, including as a result of overcapacity in the scrap recycling industry in the U.S. and Canada, may also reduce the supply of scrap metal available to us. Failure to obtain a steady supply of scrap material could both adversely impact our ability to meet sales commitments and reduce our operating margins. Failure to obtain an adequate supply of end-of-life vehicles could adversely impact our ability to attract customers and charge admission fees and reduce our parts sales. Failure to obtain raw materials and other inputs to steel production such as alloys, graphite electrodes and other required consumables, could adversely impact our ability to make steel to the specifications of our customers.
Significant decreases in scrap metal prices may adversely impact our operating results
The timing and magnitude of the cycles in the industries in which we operate are difficult to predict and are influenced by different economic conditions in the domestic market, where we typically acquire our raw materials, and foreign markets, where we typically sell the majority of our products. Purchase prices for scrap metal including end-of-life vehicles and selling prices for recycled scrap metal are subject to market forces beyond our control. For instance, in fiscal 2015 and in the first half of fiscal 2016, scrap metal prices experienced a significant downward trend caused primarily by the weak macroeconomic conditions and global steel-making overcapacity, which was further exacerbated by the impact of lower iron ore prices, a raw material used in steel-making in blast furnaces which compete with EAF steel-making production that uses ferrous scrap as its primary feedstock. While we attempt to respond to changing recycled scrap metal selling prices through adjustments to our metal purchase prices, our ability to do so is limited by competitive and other market factors. As a result, we may not be able to reduce our metal purchase prices to fully offset a sharp reduction in recycled scrap metal sales prices, which may adversely impact our operating income and cash flows. In fiscal 2015 and the first half of fiscal 2016, lower demand for recycled scrap metal relative to demand and competition for supply of unprocessed scrap metal in the domestic market compressed operating margins due to selling prices decreasing at a faster rate than purchase prices for unprocessed scrap metal. In addition, a rapid decrease in selling prices may compress our operating margins due to the impact of average inventory cost accounting, which causes cost of goods sold recognized in the Consolidated Statements of Operations to decrease at a slower rate than metal purchase prices and net selling prices.

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Imbalances in supply and demand conditions in the global steel industry may reduce demand for our products
Economic expansions and contractions in global economies can result in supply and demand imbalances in the global steel industry that can significantly affect the price of commodities used and sold by our business, as well as the price of and demand for finished steel products. In a number of foreign countries, such as China, steel producers are generally government-owned and may therefore make production decisions based on political or other factors that do not reflect free market conditions. In recent years, overcapacity and excess steel production in these foreign countries resulted in the export of aggressively priced semi-finished and finished steel products. This led to disruptions in steel-making operations within other countries, negatively impacting demand for our recycled scrap metal products used by EAF mills globally as their primary feedstock. Further, the import of foreign steel products into the U.S. at similarly aggressive prices have in the past adversely impacted finished steel sales prices and sales volumes at CSS. Existing or new trade laws and regulations may cause or be inadequate to prevent disadvantageous trade practices, which could have a material adverse effect on our financial condition and results of operations. Although trade regulations restrict or impose duties on the importation of certain products, if foreign steel production significantly exceeds consumption in those countries, global demand for our recycled scrap metal products could decline and imports of steel products into the U.S. could increase, resulting in lower volumes and selling prices for our recycled metal products and finished steel products.
Goodwill impairment charges may adversely affect our operating results
Goodwill represents the excess purchase price over the net amount of identifiable assets acquired and liabilities assumed in a business combination measured at fair value. We have a substantial amount of goodwill on our balance sheet, almost all of which was carried by a single reporting unit within AMR as of August 31, 2018. We test the goodwill balances allocated to our reporting units for impairment on an annual basis and when events occur or circumstances change that indicate that the fair value of one or more of our reporting units may be below its carrying amount. When testing goodwill for impairment, we may be required to measure the fair value of the reporting units in order to determine the amount of impairment, if any. Fair value determinations require considerable judgment and are sensitive to inherent uncertainties and changes in estimates and assumptions regarding revenue growth rates, operating margins, capital expenditures, working capital requirements, tax rates, terminal growth rates, discount rates, benefits associated with a taxable transaction and synergistic benefits available to market participants. Declines in market conditions, a trend of weaker than anticipated financial performance for one of our reporting units with allocated goodwill, a decline in our share price for a sustained period of time, or an increase in the market-based weighted average cost of capital, among other factors, are indicators that the carrying value of our goodwill may not be recoverable. We may be required to record a goodwill impairment charge that, if incurred, could have a material adverse effect on our financial condition and results of operations. For example, in the second quarter of fiscal 2015, management identified a triggering event requiring an interim impairment test of goodwill, which resulted in impairment of a reporting unit's goodwill totaling $141 million, and in the second quarter of fiscal 2016, management identified a triggering event requiring an interim impairment test of goodwill, which resulted in impairment of a different reporting unit’s goodwill totaling $9 million.
Impairment of long-lived assets and cost and equity method investments may adversely affect our operating results
Our long-lived asset groups are subject to an impairment assessment when certain triggering events or circumstances indicate that their carrying value may be impaired. If the carrying value exceeds our estimate of future undiscounted cash flows of the operations related to the asset group, an impairment is recorded for the difference between the carrying amount and the fair value of the asset group. The results of these tests for potential impairment may be adversely affected by unfavorable market conditions, our financial performance trends, or an increase in interest rates, among other factors. If as a result of the impairment test we determine that the fair value of any of our long-lived asset groups is less than its carrying amount, we may incur an impairment charge that could have a material adverse effect on our financial condition and results of operations. We recorded impairment charges on long-lived tangible and intangible assets associated with certain regional metals recycling operations and used auto parts store locations in the amount of $8 million and $44 million during fiscal 2016 and 2015, respectively. With respect to our investments in unconsolidated entities accounted for under the cost and equity methods, a loss in value of an investment that is other than a temporary decline is recognized. Once we determine that an other-than-temporary impairment exists, we may incur an impairment charge that could have a material adverse effect on our results of operations. We recorded impairment charges of $1 million and $2 million during fiscal 2017 and 2016, respectively, related to investments in joint ventures accounted for under the equity method. See Note 2 - Summary of Significant Accounting Policies in the Notes to the Consolidated Financial Statements in Part II, Item 8 of this report for further detail on long-lived asset and joint venture investment impairment charges.
Inability to sustain the benefits from productivity and restructuring initiatives may adversely impact our operating results
We have undertaken a number of productivity improvement and restructuring initiatives designed to reduce operating expenses and improve profitability and to achieve further integration and synergistic cost efficiencies in our operating platform. These initiatives included idling underutilized assets and closing facilities to more closely align our business to market conditions, implementing productivity initiatives to increase production efficiency and material recovery, and further reducing our annual operating expenses through headcount reductions, reducing organizational layers, consolidating shared service functions, savings from procurement activities, streamlining of administrative and supporting services functions, and other non-headcount measures.

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We incurred restructuring charges and other exit-related activities in fiscal 2018, 2017 and 2016 as a result of these initiatives. Failure to sustain the expected cost reductions and other benefits related to these productivity and restructuring initiatives could have a material adverse effect on our results of operations and cash flows.
Acquisitions and integration of acquired businesses may result in operating difficulties and other unintended consequences
We may make acquisitions of complementary businesses to enable us to enhance our customer base and grow our revenues. Execution of any past or potential future acquisition involves a number of risks, including:
Difficulty integrating the acquired businesses’ personnel and operations;
Potential loss of key employees or customers of the acquired business;
Difficulties in realizing anticipated cost savings, efficiencies and synergies;
Unexpected costs;
Inaccurate assessment of or undisclosed liabilities;
Inability to maintain uniform standards, controls and procedures; and
Difficulty in managing growth.
If we do not successfully execute on acquisitions and the acquired businesses do not perform as projected, our financial condition and results of operations could be materially adversely affected.
Changing economic conditions may result in customers not fulfilling their contractual obligations
We enter into export ferrous sales contracts preceded by negotiations that include fixing price, quantity, shipping terms and other contractual terms. Upon finalization of these terms and satisfactory completion of other contractual contingencies, the customer typically opens a letter of credit to satisfy its payment obligation under the contract prior to our shipment of the cargo. Although not considered normal course of business, in times of changing economic conditions, including during periods of sharply falling scrap metal prices such as those experienced in fiscal 2015 and the first half of fiscal 2016, there is an increased risk that customers may not be willing or able to fulfill their contractual obligations or open letters of credit. For example, in fiscal 2015, the resale or modification of the terms, each at significantly lower prices, of certain previously contracted bulk shipments had a $7 million negative impact on our operating results. As of August 31, 2018 and 2017, 33% of our trade accounts receivable balance were covered by letters of credit.
Increases in the value of the U.S. dollar relative to other currencies may reduce the demand for our products
A significant portion of our recycled scrap metal revenues is generated from sales to foreign customers, which are denominated in U.S. dollars, including customers located in Asia, Africa and Europe. A strengthening U.S. dollar, as experienced during recent years including fiscal 2018, makes our products more expensive for non-U.S. customers, which may negatively impact export sales. A strengthening U.S. dollar also makes imported metal products less expensive, which may result in an increase in imports of steel products into the U.S. As a result, our finished steel products, which are made in the U.S., may become more expensive for our U.S. customers relative to imported steel products thereby reducing demand for our products.
We are exposed to translation and transaction risks associated with fluctuations in foreign currency exchange rates Hedging instruments may not be effective in mitigating such risks and may expose us to losses or limit our potential gains
Our operations in Canada expose us to translation and transaction risks associated with fluctuations in foreign currency exchange rates as compared to the U.S. dollar, our reporting currency. As a result, we are subject to foreign currency exchange risks due to exchange rate movements in connection with the translation of the operating costs and the assets and liabilities of our foreign operations into our functional currency for inclusion in our Consolidated Financial Statements.
We are also exposed to foreign currency exchange transaction risk. As part of our risk management program, we may use financial instruments, including foreign currency exchange forward contracts. While intended to reduce the effects of fluctuations in foreign currency exchange rates, these instruments may not be effective in reducing all risks related to such fluctuations and may limit our potential gains or expose us to losses. Although we do not enter into these instruments for trading purposes or speculation, and we believe all such instruments are entered into as hedges of underlying physical transactions, these instruments are dependent on timely performance by our counterparties. Should our counterparties to such instruments or the sponsors of the exchanges through which these transactions are offered fail to honor their obligations due to financial distress or otherwise, we would be exposed to potential losses or the inability to recover anticipated gains from the transactions covered by these instruments.
Potential limitations on our ability to access capital resources may restrict our ability to operate
Our operations are capital intensive. Our business also requires substantial expenditures for routine maintenance. While we expect that our cash requirements, including the funding of capital expenditures, debt service, dividends, share repurchases and investments, will be financed by internally generated funds or from borrowings under our secured committed bank credit facilities,

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there can be no assurance that this will be the case. Additional acquisitions could require financing from external sources. Although we believe we have adequate access to contractually committed borrowings, we could be adversely affected if our banks were unable to honor their contractual commitments or ceased lending. Failure to access our credit facilities could restrict our ability to fund operations, make capital expenditures or execute acquisitions.
The agreement governing our bank credit facilities imposes certain restrictions on our business and contains financial covenants
Our secured bank credit facilities contain certain restrictions on our business which limit (subject to certain exceptions) our ability to, among other things, incur or suffer to exist certain liens, make investments, incur or guaranty additional indebtedness, enter into consolidations, mergers, acquisitions, and sales of assets, make distributions and other restricted payments, change the nature of our business, engage in transactions with affiliates and enter into restrictive agreements, including agreements that restrict the ability of our subsidiaries to make distributions. These restrictions may affect our ability to operate our business or execute our strategy and may limit our ability to take advantage of potential business opportunities as they arise. Our bank credit agreement also requires that we maintain certain financial and other covenants, including a consolidated fixed charge coverage ratio and a consolidated leverage ratio. Our ability to comply with these covenants may be affected by events beyond our control, including prevailing economic, financial and industry conditions. Our failure to comply with any of these restrictions or financial covenants could result in an event of default under the bank credit agreement, and permit our lenders to cease lending to us and declare all amounts borrowed from them to be due and payable, together with accrued and unpaid interest. This could require us to refinance our bank facilities, which we may not be able to do at terms acceptable to us, or at all.
Consolidation in the steel industry may reduce demand for our products
There has been a significant amount of consolidation in the steel industry in recent years that has included steel mills acquiring steel fabricators to ensure demand for their products. If any of our steel mill’s significant remaining customers were to be acquired by competing steel mills, this could reduce the demand for our products and force us to lower our prices, reducing our revenues, or to reduce production, which could increase our unit costs and have a material adverse effect on our financial condition and results of operations.
Failure to realize expected benefits from investments in processing and manufacturing technology may impact our operating results and cash flows
We make significant investments in processing and manufacturing technology improvements aimed at increasing the efficiency and capabilities of our businesses and to maximize our economies of scale. Failure to realize the anticipated benefits and generate adequate returns on such capital improvement projects may have a material adverse effect on our results of operations and cash flows.
Reliance on third party shipping companies may restrict our ability to ship our products
We generally rely on third parties to handle and transport raw materials to our production facilities and products to customers. Despite our practice of utilizing a diversified group of suppliers of transportation, factors beyond our control, including changes in fuel prices, political events, governmental regulation of transportation, changes in market rates, carrier availability, carrier bankruptcy, shipping industry consolidation and disruptions in transportation infrastructure, may adversely impact our ability to ship our products. These impacts could include delays or other disruptions in shipments in transit or third party shipping companies increasing their charges for transportation services or otherwise reducing or eliminating the availability of their vehicles or ships. As a result, we may not be able to transport our products in a timely and cost-effective manner, which could have a material adverse effect on our financial condition and results of operations and may harm our reputation.
Equipment upgrades, equipment failures and facility damage may lead to production curtailments or shutdowns
Our recycling and manufacturing processes depend on critical pieces of equipment, including shredders, nonferrous sorting technology, furnaces and a rolling mill, which may be out of service occasionally for scheduled upgrades or maintenance or as a result of unanticipated failures. Our facilities are subject to equipment failures and the risk of catastrophic loss due to unanticipated events such as fires, earthquakes, accidents or violent weather conditions. For instance, our metals recycling operations in Puerto Rico were briefly interrupted in September 2017 as a result of Hurricane Maria, although the damages to and losses incurred by the operations were not material. We have insurance to cover certain of the risks associated with equipment damage and resulting business interruption, but there are certain events that would not be covered by insurance and there can be no assurance that insurance will continue to be available on acceptable terms. Interruptions in our processing and production capabilities and shutdowns resulting from unanticipated events could have a material adverse effect on our financial condition, results of operations and cash flows.

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Product liability claims may adversely impact our operating results
We could inadvertently acquire radioactive scrap metal that could potentially be included in mixed scrap metal shipped to consumers worldwide. Although we have invested in radiation detection equipment in the majority of our locations, including the facilities from which we ship directly to customers, failure to detect radioactive scrap metal remains a possibility. Even though we maintain insurance to address the risk of this failure in detection, there can be no assurance that the insurance coverage would be adequate or will continue to be available on acceptable terms. In addition, if we fail to meet contractual requirements for a product, we may be subject to product warranty costs and claims. These costs and claims could both have a material adverse effect on our financial condition and results of operations and harm our reputation.
We are subject to legal proceedings and legal compliance risks that may adversely impact our financial condition, results of operations and liquidity
We spend substantial resources ensuring that we comply with domestic and foreign regulations, contractual obligations and other legal standards. Notwithstanding this, we are subject to a variety of legal proceedings and compliance risks in respect of various matters, including regulatory, safety, environmental, employment, transportation, intellectual property, contractual, import/export, international trade and governmental matters that arise in the course of our business and in our industry. For example, legal proceedings can include those arising from accidents involving Company-owned vehicles, including Company tractor trailers. In some instances, such accidents and the related litigation involve accidents that have resulted in third party fatalities. An outcome in an unusual or significant legal proceeding or compliance investigation in excess of insurance recoveries could adversely affect our financial condition and results of operations. For information regarding our current significant legal proceedings, see “Legal Proceedings” in Part I, Item 3 of this report.
Climate change may adversely impact our facilities and our ongoing operations
The potential physical impacts of climate change on our operations are highly uncertain and depend upon the unique geographic and environmental factors present, for example rising sea levels at our deep water port facilities, changing storm patterns and intensities, and changing temperature levels. As many of our recycling facilities are located near deep water ports, rising sea levels may disrupt our ability to receive scrap metal, process the scrap metal through our shredders and ship products to our customers. Periods of extended adverse weather conditions may inhibit construction activity utilizing our products, scrap metal inflows to our recycling facilities, and retail admissions and parts sales at our auto parts stores.
We may not realize our deferred tax assets in the future
The assessment of recoverability of our deferred tax assets is based on an evaluation of existing positive and negative evidence as to whether it is more likely than not that they will be realized. If negative evidence outweighs positive evidence, a valuation allowance is required. Impairment of deferred tax assets may result from significant negative industry or economic trends, a decrease in earnings performance and projections of future taxable income, adverse changes in laws or regulations, and a variety of other factors. Impairment of deferred tax assets could have a material adverse impact on our results of operations and financial condition and could result in not realizing the deferred tax assets. In recent years, we have recorded significant valuation allowances against our deferred tax assets, and our low annual effective tax rates in the fiscal years presented in this report are primarily the result of our full valuation allowance positions. Deferred tax assets may require further valuation allowances if it is not more likely than not that the deferred tax assets will be realized.
In fiscal 2018, we released valuation allowances against certain U.S., Canadian and state deferred tax assets resulting in recognition of discrete tax benefits. The release of the valuation allowances was the result of sufficient positive evidence, including cumulative income in recent years and projections of future taxable income from operations, that it is more likely than not that the deferred tax assets will be realized. In the event that actual results differ from our projections or we adjust our estimates in future periods, we may need to establish a valuation allowance, which could materially impact our financial position and results of operations.
Tax increases and changes in tax rules may adversely affect our financial results
As a company conducting business on a global basis with physical operations throughout North America, we are exposed, both directly and indirectly, to the effects of changes in U.S., state, local and foreign tax rules. Taxes for financial reporting purposes and cash tax liabilities in the future may be adversely affected by changes in such tax rules. In many cases, such changes put us at a competitive disadvantage compared to some of our major competitors, to the extent we are unable to pass the tax costs through to our customers.
On December 22, 2017, the President of the United States signed and enacted into law comprehensive tax legislation commonly referred to as the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (“Tax Act”). Known and certain estimated effects based upon current interpretation of the Tax Act have been incorporated into our financial results beginning in the second quarter of fiscal 2018. As additional clarification and implementation guidance is issued on the Tax Act, it may be necessary to adjust the provisional amounts. Adjustments to provisional amounts could be material to our results of operations and cash flows. In addition, there is a risk that

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states or foreign jurisdictions may amend their tax laws in response to the Tax Act, which could have a material impact on our future results of operations and cash flows.
One or more cybersecurity incidents may adversely impact our financial condition, results of operations and reputation
Our operations involve the use of multiple systems that process, store and transmit sensitive information about our customers, suppliers, employees, financial position, operating results and strategies. We face global cybersecurity risks and threats on a continual and ongoing basis, which include, but are not limited to, attempts to access systems and information, computer viruses, or denial-of-service attacks. These risks and threats range from uncoordinated individual attempts to sophisticated and targeted measures. While we are not aware of any material cyber-attacks or breaches of our systems to date, we have and continue to implement measures to safeguard our systems and information and mitigate potential risks, including employee training around phishing, malware and other cyber risks, but there is no assurance that such actions will be sufficient to prevent cyber-attacks or security breaches that manipulate or improperly use our systems, compromise sensitive information, destroy or corrupt data, or otherwise disrupt our operations. The occurrence of such events, including breaches of our security measures or those of our third-party service providers, could negatively impact our reputation and our competitive position and could result in litigation with third parties, regulatory action, loss of business due to disruption of operations and/or reputational damage, potential liability and increased remediation and protection costs, any of which could have a material adverse effect on our financial condition and results of operations. Additionally, as cybersecurity risks become more sophisticated, we may need to increase our investments in security measures which could have a material adverse effect on our financial condition and results of operations.
Risk Factors Relating to the Regulatory Environment
Environmental compliance costs and potential environmental liabilities may have a material adverse effect on our financial condition and results of operations
Compliance with environmental laws and regulations is a significant factor in our business. We are subject to local, state and federal environmental laws and regulations in the U.S. and other countries relating to, among other matters:
Waste disposal;
Air emissions;
Waste water and storm water management, treatment and discharge;
The use and treatment of groundwater;
Soil and groundwater contamination remediation;
Climate change;
Generation, discharge, storage, handling and disposal of hazardous materials and secondary materials; and
Employee health and safety.
We are also required to obtain environmental permits from governmental authorities for certain operations. Violation of or failure to obtain permits or comply with these laws or regulations could result in our business being fined or otherwise sanctioned by regulators or becoming subject to litigation by private parties. In recent years, capital expenditures for environmental projects have increased and have represented a significant share of our total capital expenditures. Future environmental compliance costs, including capital expenditures for environmental projects, may increase because of new laws and regulations, changing interpretations and stricter enforcement of current laws and regulations by regulatory authorities, uncertainty regarding adequate pollution control levels, the future costs of pollution control technology and issues related to climate change.
Our operations use, handle and generate hazardous substances. In addition, previous operations by others at facilities that we currently or formerly owned, operated or otherwise used may have caused contamination from hazardous substances. As a result, we are exposed to possible claims, including government fines and penalties, costs for investigation and clean-up activities, claims for natural resources damages and claims by third parties for personal injury and property damage, under environmental laws and regulations, especially for the remediation of waterways and soil or groundwater contamination. These laws can impose liability for the cleanup of hazardous substances even if the owner or operator was neither aware of nor responsible for the release of the hazardous substances. We have, in the past, been found not to be in compliance with certain of these laws and regulations, and have incurred liabilities, expenditures, fines and penalties associated with such violations. In addition, we have been notified that we are or may be a potentially responsible party for actual or possible investigation and cleanup costs from historical contamination at sites currently or formerly owned or operated by us or at other sites where we may have responsibility for such costs due to past disposal or other activities. Environmental compliance costs and potential environmental liabilities could have a material adverse effect on our financial condition, results of operations and cash flows. See also the risk factor “Potential costs related to the environmental cleanup of Portland Harbor may be material to our financial position and liquidity” in this Item 1A.

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Governmental agencies may refuse to grant or renew our licenses and permits, and we may be unable to renew facility leases, thus restricting our ability to operate
We conduct certain of our operations subject to licenses, permits and approvals from state and local governments. Governmental agencies often resist the establishment of certain types of facilities in their communities, including auto parts facilities. In addition, from time to time, both the U.S. and foreign governments impose regulations and restrictions on trade in the markets in which we operate. In some countries, governments require us to apply for certificates or registration before allowing shipment of recycled metal to customers in those countries. There can be no assurance that future approvals, licenses and permits will be granted or that we will be able to maintain and renew the approvals, licenses and permits we currently hold. Failure to obtain these approvals could cause us to limit or discontinue operations in these locations or prevent us from developing or acquiring new facilities, which could have a material adverse effect on our financial condition and results of operations.
We lease a significant portion of our facilities, including the substantial majority of our auto parts facilities. Failure to renew these leases may impact our ability to continue operations within certain geographic areas, which could have a material adverse effect on our financial condition, results of operations and cash flows.
Compliance with existing and future climate change and greenhouse gas emission laws and regulations may adversely impact our operating results
Future legislation or increased regulation regarding climate change and GHG emissions could impose significant costs on our business and our customers and suppliers, including increased energy, capital equipment, emissions controls, environmental monitoring and reporting and other costs in order to comply with laws and regulations concerning and limitations imposed on climate change and GHG emissions. The potential costs of allowances, taxes, fees, offsets or credits that may be part of “cap and trade” programs or similar future legislative or regulatory measures are still uncertain and the future of these programs or measures is unknown. Any adopted future climate change and GHG laws or regulations could negatively impact our ability (and that of our customers and suppliers) to compete with companies situated in areas not subject to such limitations. Until the timing, scope and extent of any future laws or regulations becomes known, we cannot predict the effect on our financial condition, operating performance or ability to compete. Furthermore, even without such laws or regulations, increased awareness and any adverse publicity in the global marketplace about the GHGs emitted by companies in the metals recycling and steel manufacturing industries could harm our reputation and reduce customer demand for our products. See “Business - Environmental Matters” in Part I, Item 1 of this report for further detail.
Risk Factors Relating to Our Employees
Reliance on employees subject to collective bargaining may restrict our ability to operate
Approximately 21% of our full-time employees are represented by unions under collective bargaining agreements, including substantially all of the manufacturing employees at our CSS steel manufacturing facility. As these agreements expire, we may not be able to negotiate extensions or replacements of such agreements on acceptable terms. Any failure to reach an agreement with one or more of our unions may result in strikes, lockouts or other labor actions, including work slowdowns or stoppages, which could have a material adverse effect on our results of operations.
The underfunded status of our multiemployer pension plans may cause us to increase our contributions to the plans
As discussed in Note 11 – Employee Benefits in the Notes to the Consolidated Financial Statements in Part II, Item 8 of this report, we contribute to the Steelworkers Western Independent Shops Pension Plan (“WISPP”), a multiemployer plan benefiting union employees of our steel mill. Because we have no current intention of withdrawing from the WISPP, we have not recognized a withdrawal liability in our consolidated financial statements. However, if such a liability were triggered, it could have a material adverse effect on our results of operations, financial position, liquidity and cash flows. Our contributions to the WISPP could also increase as a result of a diminished contribution base due to the insolvency or withdrawal of other employers who currently contribute to it, the inability or failure of withdrawing employers to pay their withdrawal liabilities, or other funding deficiencies, as we would need to fund the retirement obligations of these employers.
In 2004, the Internal Revenue Service (“IRS”) approved a seven-year extension of the period over which the WISPP may amortize unfunded liabilities, conditioned upon maintenance of certain minimum funding levels. In 2014, the WISPP obtained relief from the specified funding requirements from the IRS, which requires that the WISPP meet a minimum funded percentage on each valuation date and achieve a funded percentage of 100% as of October 1, 2029. Based on the most recent actuarial valuation for the WISPP, the funded percentage using the valuation method prescribed by the IRS satisfied the minimum funded percentage requirement.

ITEM 1B. UNRESOLVED STAFF COMMENTS
None.

21 / Schnitzer Steel Industries, Inc. Form 10-K 2018


Table of Contents              SCHNITZER STEEL INDUSTRIES, INC.


ITEM 2. PROPERTIES
Our facilities and administrative offices by type, including their total acreage, were as follows as of August 31, 2018:
Division
No. of
Facilities
 
Acreage
Leased
 
Owned
 
Total
Corporate offices – United States
1

 

 

 

Auto and Metals Recycling:
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
United States and Puerto Rico:(1)
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Administrative offices
3

 

 

 

Collection and processing
31

 
47

 
463

 
510

Collection
4

 
5

 
14

 
19

Auto parts stores
48

 
568

 
166

 
734

Non-operating sites(2)
16

 
51

 
160

 
211

Canada:
 
 
 
 
 
 

Collection and processing
3

 
28

 
4

 
32

Collection
1

 
6

 

 
6

Auto parts stores
4

 
50

 

 
50

Non-operating sites(2)
6

 
23

 

 
23

Cascade Scrap and Steel:
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
United States:
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Steel mill and administrative offices
2

 

 
85

 
85

Collection and processing
3

 

 
98

 
98

Collection
2

 

 
8

 
8

Non-operating sites(2)
2

 

 
50

 
50

Total company:
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
United States and Puerto Rico
112

 
671

 
1,044

 
1,715

Canada
14

 
107

 
4

 
111

Total(3)
126

 
778

 
1,048

 
1,826

_____________________________
(1)
We jointly own 36 acres in California at three of our sites with minority interest partners.
(2)
Non-operating sites consist of owned and leased real properties, some of which are sublet to external parties.
(3)
For long-lived assets by geography, see Note 16 – Segment Information in the Notes to the Consolidated Financial Statements in Part II, Item 8 of this report.

We consider all properties, both owned and leased, to be well-maintained, in good operating condition and suitable and adequate to carry on our business.

ITEM 3. LEGAL PROCEEDINGS
From time to time, we are involved in various litigation matters that arise in the ordinary course of business involving normal and routine claims, including environmental compliance matters. Such proceedings include, but are not limited to, proceedings relating to our status as a potentially responsible party with respect to the Portland Harbor Superfund Site, proceedings relating to other legacy environmental issues, and proceedings arising from accidents involving Company-owned vehicles, including Company tractor trailers. For additional information regarding such matters, see Note 8 – Commitments and Contingencies in the Notes to the Consolidated Financial Statements in Part II, Item 8 of this report. Except as described in such Note, we currently believe that the ultimate outcome of these proceedings, individually or in the aggregate, will not have a material adverse effect on our consolidated financial position, results of operations, cash flows or business.
In fiscal 2013, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts advised us of alleged violations of environmental requirements, including but not limited to those related to air emissions and hazardous waste management, at our operations in the Commonwealth. We actively engaged in discussions with the Commonwealth's representatives, which resulted in a settlement agreement to resolve the alleged violations. A consent judgment was jointly filed with and entered by the Superior Court for the County of Suffolk, Commonwealth of Massachusetts on September 24, 2015. The settlement involved a $450,000 cash payment, an additional $450,000 in suspended payments to be waived upon completion of a shredder emission control system and certain other specified milestones, and $350,000 in supplemental environmental projects that we have completed.

22 / Schnitzer Steel Industries, Inc. Form 10-K 2018


Table of Contents              SCHNITZER STEEL INDUSTRIES, INC.


We are continuing settlement discussions with the Alameda County District Attorney and the California Office of the Attorney General (“COAG”), the latter on behalf of certain state agencies, regarding alleged violations of environmental requirements, including but not limited to those related to hazardous waste management and water quality, at one of our operations in California stemming from investigations initiated in 2013 and inspections conducted in 2015. In conjunction with the on-going settlement discussions, we have completed or have underway various facility upgrades and remedial activities that are included in our capital expenditure budget and that we believe will resolve the underlying environmental concerns identified by the agencies. We have also continued to dispute certain of the allegations that have been raised and maintain that the operational practices giving rise to those allegations were in compliance with applicable laws. To date, no complaint has been filed by the District Attorney or the State of California although we anticipate that the settlement of this matter will ultimately involve the simultaneous filing of a complaint and a stipulation (settlement) that will include payment of a civil penalty and reimbursement of the agencies’ enforcement costs. Completion of a Supplemental Environmental Project may offset some portion of the penalty. We do not expect to enter into settlement until after completion of the agreed-upon facility upgrades, but based on the discussion to date and the government’s positive response to the facility improvements that have been completed or are underway, we do not believe that the potential penalty or enforcement costs associated with resolution of this enforcement proceeding will be material to our financial position, results of operations, cash flows or liquidity.
The COAG has also received a formal enforcement referral relating to another facility that we operate in California. This matter grew out of an agency inspection of the facility in 2014 and subsequent issuance of a Summary of Violations in 2015 setting forth a number of alleged violations relating to hazardous waste management requirements. We disputed the allegations in our response to the Summary of Violations, and the state agency referred the matter to COAG. COAG and Schnitzer Fresno, Inc., a wholly-owned subsidiary, which operates the facility, have agreed to settle the matter for $490,000, of which $368,000 shall be paid as a civil penalty and $122,000 shall be paid for agency investigation and enforcement costs. We are in the process of negotiating the settlement documentation and we do not believe the resolution of this threatened enforcement proceeding will be material to our financial position, results of operations, cash flows or liquidity.
In addition, we were informed in late July 2017 that the New Hampshire Office of the Attorney General (“NHOAG”) is contemplating bringing a civil action in connection with a legacy environmental issue at a closed facility in New Hampshire owned and previously operated by New England Metal Recycling LLC (NEMR), an indirectly wholly-owned subsidiary. This matter had been formally referred to the NHOAG and relates to subsurface automotive shredder residue (ASR) located at the site that we discovered and self-reported in response to findings from a routine inspection of the site by the New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services (NHDES) in May 2015. It appears that this subsurface ASR dates back to 2006 or before and may have resulted from the failure to complete a corrective action plan in 2006, although a former NEMR employee reported at the time that the work had been completed. In April 2017, NEMR received a letter of deficiency alleging violations of environmental requirements relating to the characterization and disposal of hazardous waste in connection with the subsurface ASR. We have reached substantial agreement with the NHDES on a remedial action plan for the site and have accrued for our expected cost of such work. On June 15, 2018, the NHOAG sent a letter indicating their intent to file a petition seeking civil penalties and injunctive relief in this matter. The letter included a draft petition and stated the NHOAG’s interest in beginning negotiations which may lead to a resolution of this matter. The Company had previously entered into a tolling agreement with the NHOAG and has entered into negotiations with the NHOAG to settle this matter. Based on the nature of the specific allegations and the fact that the activities in question were conducted over ten years ago, as well as our self-reporting of the matter and cooperation to date in pro-actively pursuing a remediation action plan, we do not believe the resolution of this threatened enforcement proceeding will be material to our financial position, results of operations, cash flows or liquidity.
In November 2017, the Company received a pre-filing negotiation letter from the United States Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) with respect to alleged violations of environmental requirements stemming from industrial stormwater inspections conducted in May and October 2016 and hazardous waste management inspections conducted in June 2017 at two of our facilities in Kansas City. We have already completed facility improvements that we believe address the concerns identified in the EPA inspection reports. EPA and Pick-N-Pull Auto Dismantlers, Kansas City, LLC, an indirect wholly-owned subsidiary which operates the two facilities, entered into a settlement agreement effective June 12, 2018 to resolve the alleged violations. The settlement included the payment of $154,391 as a civil penalty and increased site monitoring and reporting, including documentation of specified best management practices and training, the costs of which are not expected to be material.
In January 2018, the Company received a finding of violation letter from EPA with respect to alleged violations of environmental requirements stemming from refrigerant recovery management program inspections at 12 of our facilities in the New England and Pacific Northwest regions in July 2017 and November 2017. Except with respect to a minor and now corrected non-compliance matter at one facility, we believe that we have fully complied with the relevant regulations. Nevertheless, in December 2017 and prior to receipt of the EPA letter, we implemented improvements to our refrigerant recovery management program to further strengthen that program, including improvements to address concerns raised by EPA during the inspections. We have conferred with EPA regarding the alleged violations and are in negotiations with EPA to settle this matter. Based on the settlement discussions

23 / Schnitzer Steel Industries, Inc. Form 10-K 2018


Table of Contents              SCHNITZER STEEL INDUSTRIES, INC.


to date and the program improvements we have implemented or have proposed to implement, we do not believe that the outcome of this matter will be material to our financial position, results of operations, cash flows or liquidity.

ITEM 4. MINE SAFETY DISCLOSURES
Not applicable.
EXECUTIVE OFFICERS OF THE REGISTRANT
Information about our executive officers is incorporated by reference from Part III, Item 10 of this annual report.

24 / Schnitzer Steel Industries, Inc. Form 10-K 2018


Table of Contents              SCHNITZER STEEL INDUSTRIES, INC.



PART II

ITEM 5. MARKET FOR REGISTRANT’S COMMON EQUITY, RELATED STOCKHOLDER MATTERS AND ISSUER PURCHASES OF EQUITY SECURITIES
Our Class A common stock is listed on the NASDAQ Global Select Market (“NASDAQ”) under the symbol SCHN. There were 177 holders of record of Class A common stock on October 22, 2018. Our Class A common stock has been trading since November 16, 1993. The following table sets forth the high and low trading stock prices reported on NASDAQ and the dividends paid per share for the periods indicated.
 
Fiscal 2018
 
High Price
 
Low Price
 
Dividends Per Share
First Quarter
$
31.35

 
$
25.60

 
$
0.1875

Second Quarter
$
38.85

 
$
28.05

 
$
0.1875

Third Quarter
$
38.15

 
$
27.95

 
$
0.1875

Fourth Quarter
$
37.95

 
$
25.00

 
$
0.1875

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Fiscal 2017
 
High Price
 
Low Price
 
Dividends Per Share
First Quarter
$
30.33

 
$
17.30

 
$
0.1875

Second Quarter
$
30.60

 
$
22.55

 
$
0.1875

Third Quarter
$
25.00

 
$
17.50

 
$
0.1875

Fourth Quarter
$
27.70

 
$
18.65

 
$
0.1875


Our Class B common stock is not publicly traded. There was one holder of record of Class B common stock on October 22, 2018.
We declared our 98th consecutive quarterly dividend in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2018. The payment of future dividends is subject to approval by our Board of Directors and continued compliance with the terms of our credit agreement. See Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations in Part II, Item 7 of this report for further discussion of our credit agreement.
Issuer Purchases of Equity Securities
Pursuant to a share repurchase program as amended in 2001, 2006 and 2008, we were authorized to repurchase up to 9 million shares of our Class A common stock when management deems such repurchases to be appropriate. As of the beginning of fiscal 2016, we had repurchased approximately 7 million shares of our Class A common stock under the program. We repurchased approximately 203 thousand shares for a total of $3 million in open-market transactions in fiscal 2016 and approximately 516 thousand shares for a total of $17 million in open-market transactions in fiscal 2018. We did not repurchase any shares in fiscal 2017. As of August 31, 2018, there were approximately 1.3 million shares available for repurchase under the program.
The share repurchase program does not require us to acquire any specific number of shares, and we may suspend, extend or terminate the program at any time without prior notice and the program may be executed through open-market purchases, privately negotiated transactions or utilizing Rule 10b5-1 programs. We evaluate short- and long-range forecasts as well as anticipated sources and uses of cash before determining the course of action that would best enhance shareholder value.
The table presents a summary of our share repurchases during the quarter ended August 31, 2018:
Period
Total Number of Shares Purchased
 
Average Price Paid per Share
 
Total Number of Shares Purchased as Part of Publicly Announced Plans or Programs
 
Maximum Number of Shares that may yet be Purchased Under the Plans or Programs
June 1 – June 30, 2018
148,402

 
$
34.09

 
148,402

 
1,387,911

July 1 – July 31, 2018
101,598

 
$
34.68

 
101,598

 
1,286,313

August 1 – August 31, 2018

 

 

 
1,286,313

Total fourth quarter 2018
250,000

 
 
 
250,000

 
 

25 / Schnitzer Steel Industries, Inc. Form 10-K 2018


Table of Contents              SCHNITZER STEEL INDUSTRIES, INC.


Securities Authorized for Issuance under Equity Compensation Plans
See Note 12 - Share-Based Compensation in the Notes to the Consolidated Financial Statements in Part II, Item 8 of this report for information regarding securities authorized for issuance under share-based compensation plans.
Performance Graph
The following graph and related information compares cumulative total shareholder return on our Class A common stock for the five-year period from September 1, 2013 through August 31, 2018, with the cumulative total return for the same period of (i) the S&P 500 Steel Index and (ii) the S&P 600 Metals & Mining Index. These comparisons assume an investment of $100 at the commencement of the five-year period and that all dividends are reinvested. The stock performance outlined in the performance graph below is not necessarily indicative of our future performance, and we do not endorse any predictions as to future stock performance.
chart-d509ff8d2fc0f30d0aba09.jpg
 
Year Ended August 31,
 
2013
 
2014
 
2015
 
2016
 
2017
 
2018
Schnitzer Steel Industries(1)
$
100

 
$
113

 
$
73

 
$
83

 
$
123

 
$
124

S&P 500 Steel
100

 
126

 
98

 
109

 
124

 
141

S&P 600 Metals & Mining
100

 
171

 
89

 
90

 
119

 
124

(1)
Because we operate in two distinct but related businesses, we have no direct market peer issuers.

In prior years, the stock performance graph presented in the Annual Report on Form 10-K also compared our stock performance with the stock performance of (i) the NASDAQ Composite Index and (ii) the S&P 500 Index. Beginning with this Annual Report on Form 10-K, we will substitute the S&P 600 Metals & Mining Index for the NASDAQ Composite Index and the S&P 500 Index. This change is being made because the Company has determined that use of the S&P 600 Metals & Mining Index presents a better comparison to the performance of our stock than the NASDAQ Composite Index and the S&P 500 Index, as the firms included in the S&P 600 Metals & Mining Index are more similar to us in size, major product types and complexity than the firms included in the NASDAQ Composite Index and the S&P 500 Index. The stock performance graph reflecting the indexes used in the presentation in the Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended August 31, 2017 is presented below.

26 / Schnitzer Steel Industries, Inc. Form 10-K 2018


Table of Contents              SCHNITZER STEEL INDUSTRIES, INC.



chart-da119e17b48659f2a60.jpg
 
Year Ended August 31,
 
2013
 
2014
 
2015
 
2016
 
2017
 
2018
Schnitzer Steel Industries
$
100

 
$
113

 
$
73

 
$
83

 
$
123

 
$
124

NASDAQ Composite
100

 
128

 
133

 
145

 
179

 
226

S&P 500
100

 
123

 
121

 
133

 
151

 
178

S&P 500 Steel
100

 
126

 
98

 
109

 
124

 
141



27 / Schnitzer Steel Industries, Inc. Form 10-K 2018


Table of Contents              SCHNITZER STEEL INDUSTRIES, INC.


ITEM 6. SELECTED FINANCIAL DATA
The following table sets forth selected financial and other data for each of the five years ended August 31, 2018. The selected financial and other data presented below should be read in conjunction with Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations set forth in Part II, Item 7 of this Annual Report on Form 10-K and the consolidated financial statements and the accompanying notes set forth in Part II, Item 8 of this Annual Report on Form 10-K.
 
Year Ended August 31,
 
2018
 
2017
 
2016
 
2015
 
2014
STATEMENT OF OPERATIONS DATA:
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
(in thousands, except per share and dividend data)
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Revenues
$
2,364,715

 
$
1,687,591

 
$
1,352,543

 
$
1,915,399

 
$
2,534,926

Operating income (loss)(1)
$
148,988

 
$
56,013

 
$
(7,842
)
 
$
(195,529
)
 
$
24,364

Income (loss) from continuing operations
$
159,443

 
$
47,368

 
$
(16,240
)
 
$
(187,849
)
 
$
12,400

Income (loss) from discontinued operations, net of tax(2)
$
346

 
$
(390
)
 
$
(1,348
)
 
$
(7,227
)
 
$
(2,809
)
Net income (loss) attributable to SSI
$
156,451

 
$
44,511

 
$
(19,409
)
 
$
(197,009
)
 
$
5,924

Income (loss) per share from continuing operations attributable to SSI (diluted)
$
5.46

 
$
1.60

 
$
(0.66
)
 
$
(7.03
)
 
$
0.32

Net income (loss) per share attributable to SSI (diluted)
$
5.47

 
$
1.58

 
$
(0.71
)
 
$
(7.29
)
 
$
0.22

Dividends declared per common share
$
0.750

 
$
0.750

 
$
0.750

 
$
0.750

 
$
0.750

OTHER DATA:
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Sales volumes (in thousands)(3):
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
AMR recycled ferrous metal (LT)(4)
3,708

 
3,145

 
2,899

 
3,186

 
3,591

AMR recycled nonferrous metal (pounds)
571,705

 
540,791

 
473,737

 
539,850

 
563,530

CSS finished steel products (ST)
519

 
496

 
488

 
540

 
533

Average net selling price(3)(5):
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
AMR recycled ferrous metal (per ton)
$
317

 
$
242

 
$
193

 
$
264

 
$
347

AMR recycled nonferrous metal (per pound)
$
0.72

 
$
0.63

 
$
0.60

 
$
0.74

 
$
0.82

CSS finished steel products (per ton)
$
666

 
$
534

 
$
522

 
$
639

 
$
677

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
August 31,
 
2018
 
2017
 
2016
 
2015
 
2014
BALANCE SHEET DATA (in thousands):
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Total assets
$
1,104,817

 
$
933,755

 
$
891,429

 
$
962,299

 
$
1,355,210

Long-term debt, net of current maturities
$
106,237

 
$
144,403

 
$
184,144

 
$
227,572

 
$
318,842

_____________________________
(1)
Operating loss in fiscal 2016 includes a goodwill impairment charge of $9 million, other asset impairment charges of $21 million, and restructuring charges and other exit-related activities of $7 million. Operating loss in fiscal 2015 includes a goodwill impairment charge of $141 million, other asset impairment charges of $45 million, and restructuring charges and other exit-related activities of $13 million. Operating income in fiscal 2014 includes other asset impairment charges of $1 million and restructuring charges and other exit-related activities of $7 million.
(2)
In fiscal 2015, the Company ceased operations at seven auto parts stores, six of which qualified for discontinued operations reporting and whose results have been removed from other data on continuing operations for all periods presented, as applicable. In fiscal 2014, the Company also released an environmental liability of $1 million associated with operations disposed in fiscal 2010.
(3)
Tons for recycled ferrous metal are long tons (2,240 pounds) and for finished steel products are short tons (2,000 pounds).
(4)
The Company sold to external customers or delivered to its steel mill an aggregate of 4,299 thousand, 3,628 thousand, 3,289 thousand, 3,708 thousand, and 4,309 thousand tons of ferrous recycled scrap metal in fiscal 2018, 2017, 2016, 2015, and 2014, respectively. Company-wide ferrous volumes include total ferrous sales volumes for AMR, ferrous tons sold externally by CSS, and ferrous tons delivered by CSS’s metals recycling operations to its steel mill, net of inter-segment eliminations.
(5)
In accordance with generally accepted accounting principles, the Company’s revenues include amounts billed to customers for freight; however, average net selling prices are shown net of amounts billed for freight.

28 / Schnitzer Steel Industries, Inc. Form 10-K 2018


Table of Contents              SCHNITZER STEEL INDUSTRIES, INC.


ITEM 7. MANAGEMENT’S DISCUSSION AND ANALYSIS OF FINANCIAL CONDITION AND RESULTS OF OPERATIONS
This section includes a discussion of our operations for the three fiscal years ended August 31, 2018, 2017, and 2016. The following discussion and analysis provides information which management believes is relevant to an assessment and understanding of our financial condition and results of operations. The discussion should be read in conjunction with the Consolidated Financial Statements and the related notes thereto in Part II, Item 8 of this report and the Selected Financial Data contained in Part II, Item 6 of this report.

Business
Founded in 1906, Schnitzer Steel Industries, Inc. (“SSI”), an Oregon corporation, is one of North America’s largest recyclers of ferrous and nonferrous scrap metal, including end-of-life vehicles, and a manufacturer of finished steel products.
Our internal organizational and reporting structure includes two operating and reportable segments: the Auto and Metals Recycling (“AMR”) business and the Cascade Steel and Scrap (“CSS”) business.
We use segment operating income to measure our segment performance. We do not allocate corporate interest income and expense, income taxes, and other income and expense to our reportable segments. Certain expenses related to shared services that support operational activities and transactions are allocated from Corporate to the segments. Unallocated Corporate expense consists primarily of expense for management and certain administrative services that benefit both reportable segments. In addition, we do not allocate certain items to segment operating income because management does not include the information in its measurement of the performance of the operating segments. Such unallocated items include restructuring charges and other exit-related activities, charges related to legacy environmental liabilities, and provisions for certain legal matters. Because of the unallocated income and expense, the operating income of each reportable segment does not reflect the operating income the reportable segment would report as a stand-alone business. The results of discontinued operations are excluded from segment operating income and are presented separately, net of tax, from the results of ongoing operations for all periods presented. See Note 16 – Segment Information in the Notes to the Consolidated Financial Statements in Part II, Item 8 of this report for a discussion of the primary activities of each reportable segment, total assets by reportable segment, operating results from continuing operations by reportable segment, revenues from external customers and concentration of sales to foreign countries.
Our results of operations depend in large part on the demand and prices for recycled metal in foreign and domestic markets and on the supply of raw materials, including end-of-life vehicles, available to be processed at our facilities. We respond to changes in selling prices for processed metal by seeking to adjust purchase prices for unprocessed scrap metal in order to manage the impact on our operating income. We believe we generally benefit from sustained periods of rising recycled scrap metal selling prices, which allow us to better maintain or increase both operating income and unprocessed scrap metal flow into our facilities. When recycled scrap metal selling prices decline for a sustained period, our operating margins typically compress.
Our deep water port facilities on both the East and West Coasts of the U.S. (in Everett, Massachusetts; Providence, Rhode Island; Oakland, California; Tacoma, Washington; and Portland, Oregon) and access to public deep water port facilities (in Kapolei, Hawaii and Salinas, Puerto Rico) allow us to efficiently meet the global demand for recycled ferrous metal by enabling us to ship bulk cargoes to steel manufacturers located in Europe, Africa, the Middle East, Asia, North America, Central America, and South America. Our exports of nonferrous recycled metal are shipped in containers through various public docks to specialty steelmakers, foundries, aluminum sheet and ingot manufacturers, copper refineries and smelters, brass and bronze ingot manufacturers, wire and cable producers, wholesalers, and other recycled metal processors globally. We also transport both ferrous and nonferrous metals by truck, rail and barge in order to transfer scrap metal between our facilities for further processing, to load shipments at our export facilities, and to meet regional domestic demand.
Our results of operations also depend on the demand and prices for our finished steel products, the manufacture of which uses internally sourced ferrous recycled scrap metal as the primary feedstock, as well as other raw materials. Our steel mill in Oregon sells to industrial customers primarily in North America.
Our quarterly operating results fluctuate based on a variety of factors including, but not limited to, changes in market conditions for ferrous and nonferrous recycled metal and finished steel products, the supply of scrap metal in our domestic markets, and varying demand for used auto parts from our self-service retail stores. Certain of these factors are influenced, to a degree, by the impact of seasonal changes including severe weather conditions, which can impact the timing of shipments and inhibit construction activity utilizing our products, scrap metal collection at our facilities, and retail admissions and parts sales at our auto parts stores.

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Table of Contents              SCHNITZER STEEL INDUSTRIES, INC.


Strategic Priorities
As we continue to closely monitor economic conditions, we remain focused on the following core strategies and plans to meet our business goals and objectives:
Long-term expansion of ferrous scrap metal supply and processing, sales volumes and operating margins;
Technology and process improvement investments to increase the separation and recovery of recycled materials from our shredding process and to generate more value-added products;
Use of our seven deep water ports and ground-based logistics network to directly access customers domestically and internationally to meet demand for our products wherever it is greatest;
Further optimization of our integrated recycling and steel manufacturing operating platforms to maximize opportunities for synergies, cost efficiencies and volumes;
Continuous improvement initiatives to increase production efficiency, enhance effectiveness in our commercial activities, ensure the safety of our employees while at work, and reduce operating expense;
Increase market share through initiatives to maximize volumes and through selective partnerships, alliances and acquisitions; and
Continued adoption of sustainable business practices to manage our social and environmental impacts and improve operating efficiency and natural resource stewardship.
Key economic factors and trends affecting the industries in which we operate
We sell recycled metals to the global steel industry for the production of finished steel. Our financial results largely depend on supply of raw materials in the U.S. and Western Canada and demand for recycled metal in foreign and domestic markets and for finished steel products in the Western U.S. Global economic conditions, changes in supply and demand conditions, the strength of the U.S. dollar, the availability and price of raw material alternatives, and trade actions such as tariffs affect market prices for and sales volumes of recycled ferrous and nonferrous metal in global markets and steel products in the Western U.S. and can have a significant impact on the results of operations for our reportable segments.
Commencing in fiscal 2012 and spanning through the first half of fiscal 2016, our markets were adversely impacted by a slowdown of economic activity globally. The macroeconomic uncertainty, combined with global steel-making overproduction and a strengthening of the U.S. dollar had resulted in deteriorating market conditions for global steel manufacturers and volatile pricing swings. The weak price environment for recycled metals in fiscal 2015 and the first half of fiscal 2016 was exacerbated by a decline in iron ore prices, a raw material used in steel-making blast furnaces which compete with EAF mills that use ferrous scrap metal as their primary feedstock. Low-priced steel billets which use iron ore as their primary raw material, and which are direct substitutes for ferrous scrap metal in the manufacture of finished steel, also contributed to lower scrap metal demand and prices during these years. The low economic growth in the U.S. and the lower scrap metal price environment at the time contributed to constrained scrap flows in the domestic supply markets which led to significantly lower margins in our AMR business during fiscal 2015 and the first half of fiscal 2016 before prices and margins recovered during the second half of fiscal 2016.
In fiscal 2017 and 2018, the combination of improved U.S. and global economic growth, lower Chinese steel exports, and further development of the steel industries using EAFs in other export markets contributed to improved demand and prices for ferrous recycled scrap metal, positively impacting our operating results. Compared to the prior two years, our performance in fiscal 2018 also benefited from improvements in market conditions, increased sales diversification, and improved supply volumes. The higher price environment for scrap metal during fiscal 2018 together with benefits from commercial initiatives to improve supply channels and a strong U.S. economy led to an increase in scrap supply flows into our facilities, including end-of-life vehicles, resulting in higher processed volumes compared to fiscal 2017 and 2016. In fiscal 2018, selling prices for ferrous recycled metal rose gradually during the first three quarters followed by a modest decrease in the fourth quarter. The higher average selling prices supported an expansion of the spread between direct purchase costs and selling prices of ferrous recycled metal compared to the prior year. Our operating margins also benefited from improved volumes of nonferrous material from end-of-life vehicles and the shredding process, partially offset by operating margin compression experienced near the end of fiscal 2018 as a result of a decrease in average net selling prices for certain nonferrous products driven primarily by the global impact of new regulations and measures put into place by policymakers in China during the year, including import regulations and tariffs on U.S. scrap imports. Our CSS business benefited in fiscal 2018 from reduced price pressure from steel imports, the impact of U.S. tariffs on steel imports, and steady demand for finished steel products in the West Coast markets which contributed to higher selling prices for our finished steel products. Our CSS business experienced improved metal margins from selling prices increasing faster than raw material purchase prices which, in combination with operational synergies gained following the integration of our steel manufacturing and

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Table of Contents              SCHNITZER STEEL INDUSTRIES, INC.


Oregon metals recycling operations in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2017, led to significantly improved results compared to the prior two years.
Trade actions, including tariffs, quotas and any retaliation by affected countries, can impact profit on sales of our products and, in certain cases, impede our ability to sell to certain export markets or require us to direct our sales to alternative market destinations, which can cause our quarterly operating results to fluctuate. For further information regarding the potential impact of changing conditions in global markets including the impact of tariffs, quotas and other trade actions on our business and results of operations, see Part I, Item 1A. Risk Factors of this report.

Executive Overview of Financial Results
We generated consolidated revenues of $2.4 billion in fiscal 2018, an increase of 40% from the $1.7 billion of consolidated revenues generated in fiscal 2017, reflecting significantly improved market conditions for recycled metals in the domestic and export markets, increased supply flows and sales diversification, and the higher-price environment for our finished steel products, compared to the prior year. In fiscal 2018, the average net selling price for ferrous recycled metal at AMR was 31% higher compared to the prior year, and ferrous sales volumes at AMR were 18% higher compared to the prior year. The average net selling price for our finished steel products in fiscal 2018 increased by 25% compared to the prior year.
Consolidated operating income was $149 million in fiscal 2018, compared to consolidated operating income of $56 million in fiscal 2017. AMR reported operating income in fiscal 2018 of $169 million, compared to $91 million in the prior year. Operating results at AMR in fiscal 2018 benefited from stronger market conditions for ferrous recycled metal which, in combination with commercial initiatives, led to an increase in scrap supply flows into our facilities, including end-of-life vehicles, and higher processed volumes compared to fiscal 2017. The higher-price environment together with benefits from commercial initiatives also positively impacted the spread between direct purchase costs and selling prices of ferrous recycled metal at AMR, with the metal spread for fiscal 2018 expanding by approximately 29% compared to the prior year. CSS reported operating income of $38 million in fiscal 2018, compared to $5 million in the prior year, reflecting significantly higher metal margins from selling prices increasing faster than raw material purchase prices, reduced price pressure from steel imports, steady demand for finished steel products in the West Coast markets, as well as operational synergies gained following the integration of our steel manufacturing and Oregon metals recycling operations in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2017 to form the CSS division. CSS’s operating results in fiscal 2017 were adversely impacted by competition from lower-priced steel imports and the adverse impact of the downtime and costs associated with major equipment upgrades at our steel mill during the first quarter of fiscal 2017.
Consolidated selling, general and administrative (“SG&A”) expense in fiscal 2018 increased by $37 million, or 22%, compared to the prior year primarily due to higher employee-related expenses, including a $10 million increase in incentive and share-based compensation accruals resulting from improved financial performance, a $6 million increase in legal and professional services expenses, accruals for environmental liabilities totaling $7 million, and other expenses related to higher volumes.
Net income from continuing operations attributable to SSI in fiscal 2018 was $156 million, or $5.46 per diluted share, compared to $45 million, or $1.60 per diluted share, in the prior year. Net income from continuing operations attributable to SSI in fiscal 2018 included discrete income tax benefits totaling $37 million, or $1.30 per diluted share, related to the release of valuation allowances against certain deferred tax assets, and an income tax benefit of $7 million, or $0.24 per diluted share, related to the impacts of U.S. federal tax legislation enacted during the year.
The following items further highlight selected liquidity and capital structure metrics:
Net cash provided by operating activities of $160 million in fiscal 2018, compared to $100 million in the prior year;
Debt of $107 million as of August 31, 2018, compared to $145 million as of the prior year-end;
Debt, net of cash, of $103 million as of August 31, 2018, compared to $138 million as of the prior year-end (see the reconciliation of debt, net of cash, in Non-GAAP Financial Measures at the end of this Item 7).
Share repurchases totaling $17 million in fiscal 2018, compared to no share repurchases in the prior year.


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Table of Contents              SCHNITZER STEEL INDUSTRIES, INC.


Results of Operations
 
For the Year Ended August 31,
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
% Increase / (Decrease)
($ in thousands)
2018
 
2017
 
2016
 
2018 vs 2017
 
2017 vs 2016
Revenues:
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Auto and Metals Recycling
$
1,908,966

 
$
1,363,618

 
$
1,060,592

 
40
 %
 
29
 %
Cascade Steel and Scrap
480,641

 
339,620

 
304,032

 
42
 %
 
12
 %
Intercompany revenue eliminations(1)
(24,892
)
 
(15,647
)
 
(12,081
)
 
59
 %
 
30
 %
Total revenues
2,364,715

 
1,687,591

 
1,352,543

 
40
 %
 
25
 %
Cost of goods sold:
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Auto and Metals Recycling
1,607,628

 
1,158,154

 
905,863

 
39
 %
 
28
 %
Cascade Steel and Scrap
427,459

 
322,013

 
283,006

 
33
 %
 
14
 %
Intercompany cost of goods sold eliminations(1)
(24,602
)
 
(15,659
)
 
(12,881
)
 
57
 %
 
22
 %
Total cost of goods sold
2,010,485

 
1,464,508

 
1,175,988

 
37
 %
 
25
 %
Selling, general and administrative expense:
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Auto and Metals Recycling
133,044

 
116,461

 
106,691

 
14
 %
 
9
 %
Cascade Steel and Scrap
17,044

 
14,321

 
12,571

 
19
 %
 
14
 %
Corporate(2)
58,789

 
40,788

 
29,646

 
44
 %
 
38
 %
Total selling, general and administrative expense
208,877

 
171,570

 
148,908

 
22
 %
 
15
 %
(Income) loss from joint ventures:
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Auto and Metals Recycling
107

 
(2,218
)
 
(386
)
 
NM

 
475
 %
Cascade Steel and Scrap
(2,060
)
 
(1,456
)
 
(433
)
 
41
 %
 
236
 %
Total (income) loss from joint ventures
(1,953
)
 
(3,674
)
 
(819
)
 
(47
)%
 
349
 %
Goodwill impairment charges:
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Auto and Metals Recycling

 

 
8,845

 
NM

 
NM

Other asset impairment charges (recoveries), net:
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Auto and Metals Recycling
(933
)
 
(184
)
 
16,411

 
407
 %
 
NM

Cascade Steel and Scrap
(88
)
 
(533
)
 
4,192

 
(83
)%
 
NM

Corporate

 

 
79

 
NM

 
NM

Total other asset impairment charges (recoveries), net
(1,021
)
 
(717
)
 
20,682

 
42
 %
 
NM

Operating income (loss):
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Auto and Metals Recycling
169,120

 
91,405

 
23,168

 
85
 %
 
295
 %
Cascade Steel and Scrap
38,286

 
5,275

 
4,696

 
626
 %
 
12
 %
Segment operating income
207,406

 
96,680

 
27,864

 
115
 %
 
247
 %
Restructuring charges and other exit-related activities(3)
661

 
109

 
(6,781
)
 
506
 %
 
NM

Corporate expense(2)
(58,789
)
 
(40,788
)
 
(29,725
)
 
44
 %
 
37
 %
Change in intercompany profit elimination(4)
(290
)
 
12

 
800

 
NM

 
(99
)%
Total operating income (loss)
$
148,988

 
$
56,013

 
$
(7,842
)
 
166
 %
 
NM

_____________________________ 

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Table of Contents              SCHNITZER STEEL INDUSTRIES, INC.


NM = Not Meaningful
(1)
AMR sells a small portion of its recycled ferrous metal to CSS at prices that approximate local market rates. These intercompany revenues and cost of goods sold are eliminated in consolidation.
(2)
Corporate expense consists primarily of unallocated expenses for management and certain administrative services that benefit both reportable segments.
(3)
Restructuring charges consist of expense for severance, contract termination and other restructuring costs that management does not include in its measurement of the performance of the reportable segments. Other exit-related activities consist of asset impairments and accelerated depreciation, net of gains on exit-related disposals, related to site closures.
(4)
Intercompany profits are not recognized until the finished products are sold to third parties; therefore, intercompany profit is eliminated while the products remain in inventory.


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Table of Contents              SCHNITZER STEEL INDUSTRIES, INC.


We operate our business across two reportable segments: AMR and CSS. Additional financial information relating to these reportable segments is contained in Note 16 - Segment Information in the Notes to the Consolidated Financial Statements in Part II, Item 8 of this report.
Auto and Metals Recycling
 
For the Year Ended August 31,
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
% Increase / (Decrease)
($ in thousands, except for prices)
2018
 
2017
 
2016
 
2018 vs 2017
 
2017 vs 2016
Ferrous revenues
$
1,288,287

 
$
843,222

 
$
625,517

 
53
 %
 
35
%
Nonferrous revenues
481,777

 
394,977

 
330,351

 
22
 %
 
20
%
Retail and other revenues
138,902

 
125,419

 
104,724

 
11
 %
 
20
%
Total segment revenues
1,908,966

 
1,363,618

 
1,060,592

 
40
 %
 
29
%
Cost of goods sold
1,607,628

 
1,158,154

 
905,863

 
39
 %
 
28
%
Selling, general and administrative expense
133,044

 
116,461

 
106,691

 
14
 %
 
9
%
(Income) loss from joint ventures
107

 
(2,218
)
 
(386
)
 
(105
)%
 
475
%
Goodwill impairment charges

 

 
8,845

 
NM

 
NM

Other asset impairment charges (recoveries), net
(933
)
 
(184
)
 
16,411

 
407
 %
 
NM

Segment operating income
$
169,120

 
$
91,405


$
23,168

 
85
 %
 
295
%
Average recycled ferrous metal sales prices ($/LT):(1)
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Domestic
$
291

 
$
236

 
$
188

 
23
 %
 
26
%
Foreign
$
328

 
$
244

 
$
196

 
34
 %
 
24
%
Average
$
317

 
$
242

 
$
193

 
31
 %
 
25
%
Ferrous sales volume (LT, in thousands):
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Domestic
1,085

 
948

 
859

 
14
 %
 
10
%
Foreign
2,623

 
2,197

 
2,040

 
19
 %
 
8
%
Total ferrous sales volume (LT, in thousands)
3,708

 
3,145

 
2,899

 
18
 %
 
9
%
Average nonferrous sales price ($/pound)(1)(2)
$
0.72

 
$
0.63

 
$
0.60

 
14
 %
 
5
%
Nonferrous sales volumes (pounds, in thousands)(2)
571,705

 
540,791

 
473,737

 
6
 %
 
14
%
Cars purchased (in thousands)(3)
424

 
411

 
319

 
3
 %
 
29
%
Number of auto parts stores at period end
52

 
53

 
52

 
(2
)%
 
2
%
Outbound freight included in cost of goods sold
$
128,324

 
$
97,400

 
$
77,477

 
32
 %
 
26
%
_____________________________
LT = Long Ton, which is equivalent to 2,240 pounds
NM = Not meaningful
(1)
Price information is shown after netting the cost of freight incurred to deliver the product to the customer.
(2)
Average sales price and volume information excludes platinum group metals (“PGMs”) in catalytic converters.
(3)
Cars purchased by auto parts stores only.
Fiscal 2018 compared with fiscal 2017
AMR Segment Revenues
Revenues in fiscal 2018 increased by 40% compared to fiscal 2017 primarily due to stronger market conditions for recycled metal in the domestic and export markets resulting in significantly higher average net selling prices and increased sales volumes compared to the prior year. AMR’s revenues and sales volumes in fiscal 2018 also benefited from increased sales diversification compared to the prior year.

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Table of Contents              SCHNITZER STEEL INDUSTRIES, INC.


AMR Segment Operating Income
Operating income for fiscal 2018 was $169 million, compared to $91 million in fiscal 2017. Operating results benefited from stronger market conditions for ferrous recycled metal which, in combination with commercial initiatives, led to an increase in scrap supply flows into our facilities, including end-of-life vehicles, and higher processed volumes compared to fiscal 2017. The higher price environment in fiscal 2018 including a period of gradually rising selling prices for ferrous recycled metal during the first three quarters followed by a modest decrease in the fourth quarter, together with benefits from commercial initiatives, supported an expansion of the spread between direct purchase costs and selling prices of ferrous recycled metal at AMR, with the metal spread for fiscal 2018 expanding by approximately 29% compared to the prior year. Operating margins also benefited from improved volumes of nonferrous material from end-of-life vehicles and the shredding process, partially offset by operating margin compression experienced near the end of fiscal 2018 as a result of a decrease in average net selling prices for certain nonferrous products driven primarily by the global impact of new regulations and measures put into place by policymakers in China during the year, including import regulations and tariffs on U.S. scrap imports. AMR selling, general and administrative (“SG&A”) expense in fiscal 2018 increased by $17 million, or 14%, compared to the prior year primarily due to higher employee-related expenses, including an increase in incentive compensation accruals as a result of improved operating performance and other expenses related to higher volumes.
Fiscal 2017 compared with fiscal 2016
AMR Segment Revenues
Revenues in fiscal 2017 increased by 29% compared to fiscal 2016 primarily due to improved market conditions for recycled metals in the domestic and export markets resulting in higher average net selling prices and increased sales volumes compared to the prior year, including benefits from increased sales diversification. Average net selling prices for shipments of ferrous scrap metal in fiscal 2017 increased by 25% compared to the prior year. Ferrous sales volumes in fiscal 2017 also increased by 9% compared to the prior year due to higher export and domestic shipments in fiscal 2017. Additionally, nonferrous sales volumes in fiscal 2017 were higher by 14% compared to the prior year, and nonferrous average net selling prices were higher by 5%.
AMR Segment Operating Income
Operating income for fiscal 2017 was $91 million, compared to $23 million in fiscal 2016. Adjusted operating income in fiscal 2017 was $90 million, compared to $48 million in the prior year. See the reconciliation of AMR adjusted operating income in Non-GAAP Financial Measures at the end of this Item 7.
Operating results in fiscal 2017 benefited from better market conditions, increased sales diversification, improved supply volumes, expanded nonferrous metal recovery, and additional benefits from cost savings and productivity improvement initiatives compared to fiscal 2016. The higher price environment for scrap metal in fiscal 2017 together with benefits from commercial initiatives to improve supply channels and an improved trend in U.S. economic conditions also led to an increase in the supply of scrap metal, including end-of-life vehicles, resulting in higher processed volumes compared to the prior year. The stronger price environment also positively impacted the spread between direct purchase costs and selling prices of ferrous recycled metal at AMR, with the metal spread for fiscal 2017 expanding by approximately 10% compared to the prior year. Operating results in fiscal 2016 were adversely impacted by a lower price environment which included sharp declines in commodity selling prices during the first half of fiscal 2016 resulting in an unfavorable impact from average inventory accounting during the year. This compares to a favorable impact from average inventory accounting in fiscal 2017 which, relative to performance benefits from other drivers, was not a major contributor to the improvement in AMR’s operating results year over year.
AMR SG&A expense in fiscal 2017 increased by $10 million, or 9%, compared to the prior year primarily due to higher employee-related expenses, including an increase in incentive compensation accruals resulting from improved financial performance, other expenses related to higher volumes, and increased environmental liabilities. This increase was partially offset by incremental benefits from cost savings and productivity improvement measures to reduce direct costs of production and SG&A expense. AMR operating results in fiscal 2017 were positively impacted by approximately $11 million of incremental benefits from these measures.
In the second quarter of fiscal 2016, we identified a triggering event requiring an interim impairment test of goodwill allocated to our reporting units. The impairment test resulted in a non-cash goodwill impairment charge of $9 million at a reporting unit within AMR. We also recorded non-cash impairment charges and accelerated depreciation on certain long-lived and other assets at AMR of $16 million primarily related to certain regional metals recycling operations and used auto parts store locations and certain previously-idled recycling equipment assets. See Results of Operations, Asset Impairment Charges (Recoveries), net in this Item 7 for further details on asset impairment charges.

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Table of Contents              SCHNITZER STEEL INDUSTRIES, INC.


Cascade Steel and Scrap
 
 
For the Year Ended August 31,
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
% Increase / (Decrease)
($ in thousands, except for price)
 
2018
 
2017
 
2016
 
2018 vs 2017
 
2017 vs 2016
Steel revenues(1)
 
$
367,560

 
$
280,767

 
$
269,905

 
31
 %
 
4
%
Recycling revenues(2)
 
113,081

 
58,853

 
34,127

 
92
 %
 
72
%
Total segment revenues
 
480,641

 
339,620

 
304,032

 
42
 %
 
12
%
Cost of goods sold
 
427,459

 
322,013

 
283,006

 
33
 %
 
14
%
Selling, general and administrative expense
 
17,044

 
14,321

 
12,571

 
19
 %
 
14
%
(Income) from joint ventures
 
(2,060
)
 
(1,456
)
 
(433
)
 
41
 %
 
236
%
Other asset impairment charges (recoveries), net
 
(88
)
 
(533
)
 
4,192

 
(83
)%
 
NM

Segment operating income
 
$
38,286

 
$
5,275

 
$
4,696

 
626
 %
 
12
%
Finished steel average sales price ($/ST)(3)
 
$
666

 
$
534

 
$
522

 
25
 %
 
2
%
Finished steel products sold (ST, in thousands)
 
519

 
496

 
488

 
5
 %
 
2
%
Rolling mill utilization(4)
 
88
%
 
83
%
 
63
%
 
6
 %
 
32
%
_____________________________
ST = Short Ton, which is equivalent to 2,000 pounds
NM = Not Meaningful
(1)
Steel revenues include primarily sales of finished steel products, semi-finished goods (billets) and manufacturing scrap.
(2)
Recycling revenues include primarily sales of ferrous and nonferrous recycled scrap metal to export markets.
(3)
Price information is shown after netting the cost of freight incurred to deliver the product to the customer.
(4)
Rolling mill utilization for fiscal 2017 and 2018 is based on effective annual production capacity under current conditions of 580 thousand tons of finished steel products, reflecting a decrease in the effective finished steel production capacity resulting from the decommissioning of the older rolling mill during the first quarter of fiscal 2017.
Fiscal 2018 compared with fiscal 2017
CSS Segment Revenues
Revenues in fiscal 2018 increased by $141 million, or 42%, compared to fiscal 2017 primarily due to significantly higher average selling prices for our finished steel products and increased export sales of ferrous recycled scrap metal. The higher average selling prices for our finished steel products reflect the impacts of higher steel-making raw material costs compared to the prior year, as well as reduced pressure from steel imports.
CSS Segment Operating Income
Operating income for fiscal 2018 was $38 million, compared to operating income of $5 million in the prior year. Improved operating results in fiscal 2018 reflect significantly higher metal margins from selling prices increasing faster than raw material purchase prices, reduced price pressure from steel imports, steady demand for finished steel products in the West Coast markets, as well as operational synergies gained following the integration of our steel manufacturing and Oregon metals recycling operations in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2017 to form the CSS division. CSS’s operating results in fiscal 2017 were adversely impacted by competition from lower-priced steel imports and the adverse impact of the downtime and costs associated with major equipment upgrades at our steel mill during the first quarter of fiscal 2017.
Fiscal 2017 compared with fiscal 2016
CSS Segment Revenues
Revenues in fiscal 2017 increased by $36 million, or 12%, compared to fiscal 2016 primarily due to increased export sales of ferrous recycled scrap metal, higher average selling prices for our finished steel products reflecting the impact of higher steel-making raw material costs, and higher sales volumes for finished steel products due to stronger demand in the West Coast markets.
CSS Segment Operating Income
Operating income for fiscal 2017 was just over $5 million, compared to operating income of just under $5 million in the prior year. Adjusted operating income in fiscal 2017 was $5 million, compared to adjusted operating income of $9 million in fiscal 2016. Adjusted results in fiscal 2017 exclude a net recovery on previously impaired assets of $1 million. Adjusted results in fiscal 2016 exclude other asset impairment charges of $4 million. See the reconciliation of CSS adjusted operating income in Non-GAAP Financial Measures at the end of this Item 7.

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Table of Contents              SCHNITZER STEEL INDUSTRIES, INC.


Operating results in fiscal 2017 benefited from stronger demand for our finished steel products in the West Coast markets during the fourth quarter and improved market conditions for ferrous and nonferrous recycled scrap metal in the export markets. The benefits from the improved conditions were partially offset by continued pressure from low-priced imports and costs of $2 million associated with a major equipment upgrade at our steel mill in the first quarter of fiscal 2017. Operating results for both fiscal years were adversely impacted by selling prices for finished steel products falling faster than cost of goods sold, primarily during the first half of each year, resulting in compressed operating margins. Operating results in fiscal 2016 were adversely affected by impairment charges of $2 million on steel mill supplies inventory and $2 million on an investment in a metals recycling joint venture. Fiscal 2017 operating results included a net recovery on previously impaired assets of $1 million consisting primarily of a gain on the sale of a previously impaired metals recycling joint venture investment.
Asset Impairment Charges (Recoveries), net
During the periods presented, we recorded non-cash impairment charges and accelerated depreciation on certain long-lived and other assets, as well as recoveries on certain previously impaired assets. The following asset impairment charges and subsequent recoveries, excluding goodwill impairment charges, were recorded in the Consolidated Statements of Operations (in thousands):
 
Year Ended August 31,
 
2018
 
2017
 
2016
Reported within other asset impairment charges (recoveries), net:
 
 
 
 
 
Auto and Metals Recycling
 
 
 
 
 
Long-lived assets
$

 
$

 
$
7,336

Accelerated depreciation
(1,040
)
 

 
6,208

Investments in joint ventures
(118
)
 
860

 

Assets held for sale
(642
)
 
(1,044
)
 
1,659

Other assets
867

 

 
1,208

Total Auto and Metals Recycling
(933
)
 
(184
)
 
16,411

Cascade Steel and Scrap
 
 
 
 
 
Accelerated depreciation
(88
)
 
401

 

Investments in joint ventures

 
(934
)
 
1,968

Supplies inventory

 

 
2,224

Total Cascade Steel and Scrap
(88
)
 
(533
)
 
4,192

Corporate - Other assets

 

 
79

 
(1,021
)
 
(717
)
 
20,682

Reported within restructuring charges and other exit-related activities:
 
 
 
 
 
Long-lived assets

 

 
468

Accelerated depreciation