“Looking beyond these near-term headwinds, we believe market conditions remain favorable for strong secular growth over the next 3 to 5 years in many of our key global markets. Aerospace build rates are expected to continue to increase and OEM backlogs remain at record levels. Demand for ATI’s new products is expected to grow substantially as new technology airframe and jet engine deliveries increase. In addition, demand for jet engine spare parts is projected to begin to modestly improve, compared to the second half of 2012, as we move through 2013.
“Global oil and gas exploration and production forecasts project spending to set a new record and upstream capital spending, especially in the U.S., is expected to grow.
“We also expect continuing solid growth in demand for our high performance specialty metals from the medical market.
“In the short-term, demand from the electrical energy market is expected to remain flat for both power generation and power distribution because of tepid GDP growth in advanced economies and improving, but still weak, new housing construction in the U.S.“In our High Performance Metals segment, we expect to benefit from growing demand from most of our key global markets, increasing demand for our new products, especially from the aerospace market, and lower costs at our titanium sponge facility. These benefits are expected to more than offset continued weakness in demand from the nuclear energy market, softer demand in the first half of 2013 from industrial markets for forged parts, and reduced demand from defense markets primarily due to reduced defense spending in the U.S. and Europe. “In our Flat-Rolled Products segment, we see improved demand in 2013, compared to 2012, for our high-value products, particularly titanium, nickel-based alloys and specialty alloys, and our Precision Rolled Strip® products. Our backlog of project orders from the oil and gas/chemical process industry market, including seawater desalination, is beginning to rebuild. We are seeing modest signs of improvement in the first quarter for our standard stainless products. However, we remain cautious in the near-term about domestic GDP-sensitive markets as consumer and business confidence are both extraordinarily low and the political tone in the U.S. has created headwinds that are slowing sustainable domestic economic recovery.