UPDATE 1-Steel Dynamics' profit plunges
* Q3 profit $0.06/shr vs. $0.19/shr last year
* Q3 revenue down 17 percent to $1.69 bln
Oct 17 (Reuters) - Steel producer and metals recycler Steel Dynamics Inc's third-quarter profit plunged 77 percent as global economic uncertainty cut into steel shipments.
Profit fell more than 50 percent for the third straight quarter.
Steel prices have been depressed in recent months due to the lack of a strong recovery in steel demand in China -- the world's largest producer and consumer of steel -- along with a persistently oversupplied market.
The benchmark 62-percent grade iron ore index fell 22 percent in the June to September period. Although prices have recovered from a three-year low of below $87 last month, they are still 25 percent below this year's high of $149.40.
"We believe volumes could continue to be challenged in the fourth quarter, as fluctuations in immediate customer needs and hesitancy for customers to carry inventory persists," Chief Executive Mark Millett said in statement.
Global demand for steel will slow next year because of weaker consumption growth in China and uncertainties from the European debt crisis, according to the World Steel Association.
World Steel expects steel consumption to grow 2.1 percent this year versus 6.2 percent reported last year.
Net earnings were $12.8 million, or 6 cents per share, down from $43.3 million, or 19 cents per share, in the same quarter a year earlier. Excluding items, it earned 15 cents per share.
Revenue fell 17 percent to $1.69 billion.
Analysts on average expected a profit of 13 cents per share on revenue of $1.78 billion for the third quarter, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
Shares of Fort Wayne, Indiana-based Steel Dynamics, which has a market value of $2.77 billion, closed at $12.62 on Wednesday on the Nasdaq. They have fallen nearly 20 percent so far this year, while the S&P Steel sub-industry Index has risen 14 percent.
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