Outokumpus first quarter adjusted EBITDA of EUR 133 million was significantly lower compared to EUR 294 million in the first quarter of 2017. Profitability declined primarily due to the lower ferrochrome price and lower realized base prices in both Europe and the Americas. In addition, higher graphite electrode and other input costs of approximately EUR 20 million had a negative impact on profitability. The large negative impacts were partly offset by better cost efficiency, particularly lower SG&A costs. Other operations and intra-group items adjusted EBITDA of EUR 10 million (EUR -9 million) includes a EUR 12 million gain from emission allowance derivatives. Raw material-related inventory and metal derivative losses were EUR 5 million (gains of EUR 33 million).
Underlying stainless steel demand is expected to remain healthy. Base prices are trending upward in the US, supported by steel import tariffs, whereas in Europe, higher Asian imports are expected to result in further pressure on base prices.The benefits from the higher ferrochrome price will be partly offset by a planned maintenance shutdown of one ferrochrome furnace. Stainless steel deliveries are expected to be relatively flat compared to the first quarter in all business areas. Outokumpu expects its second-quarter adjusted EBITDA to be at a similar level to the first quarter