SCHN 2017 Annual Report

SCHNITZER STEEL INDUSTRIES, INC. 15 / Schnitzer Steel Industries, Inc. Form 10-K 2017 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, 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 9 – 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. The impact of recent political events, such as the United Kingdom referendum to exit the European Union declared in June 2016, on global economic conditions is currently uncertain. 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. Instability in international markets 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 SouthAmerica. Our ability to sell our products profitably, or at all, to international markets is subject to a number of risks including adverse impacts of political, military, terrorist or major pandemic events; local 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 government agencies. 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. The scope of the National Sword initiative, which could include import bans on certain recycled products, is still being developed. Based on the most current information available, we believe that a potential impact on our recycling operations could include additional processing of certain nonferrous recycled scrap metal products prior to export to China. If necessary to address additional regulatory developments, we may assess the potential for further investments in nonferrous processing equipment where economically justified. The occurrence of such events and conditions may adversely affect our business, financial position and results of operations. Changes in the availability or price of 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 rawmaterials, particularly with respect to scrapmetal for our steel manufacturing operations, we rely on other suppliers for most of our raw material 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 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.