SCHNITZER STEEL INDUSTRIES, INC. 16 / Schnitzer Steel Industries, Inc. Form 10-K 2017 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 rawmaterials, and foreignmarkets, 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 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. 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 adversely impacted finished steel sales prices and sales volumes at CSS. Existing trade laws and regulations may 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, all of which was carried by a single reporting unit within AMR as of August 31, 2017. We test the goodwill balance for impairment on an annual basis and when events occur or circumstances change that indicate that the fair value of the reporting unit may be below its carrying amount. When testing goodwill for impairment, we may be required to measure the fair value of the reporting unit 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 our single reporting unit 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. Both of these impairment charges are reported within the results of AMR in this report.