SCHN 2017 Annual Report

SCHNITZER STEEL INDUSTRIES, INC. 18 / Schnitzer Steel Industries, Inc. Form 10-K 2017 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 fiscal 2015 and fiscal 2016, 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 our management believes 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, 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 facility 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, a consolidated leverage ratio, and a consolidated asset coverage 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.