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Tag Archives: steel

Steel prices squashed as auto demand and output go into reverse

Almost everywhere you look, auto production and sales are falling and putting pressure on one of the major end-user segments of steel. News within the space of a fortnight that British Steel was insolvent and Ford’s Bridgend plant in the UK would cease production in 2020 was somewhat emblematic of the challenges faced by carmakers and their steel suppliers. According to the World Steel Association, a typical car comprises around 900 kg of steel, 34% of which is used in the body structure and...

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Energy and commodities highlights: Steel and sanctions, war on plastic, EU coal power decline

The effects of Iran sanctions and the US-China trade spat were showing in several Asian commodity markets in late May. Market sources told S&P Global Platts that major steel billet buyers in Thailand and Indonesia were avoiding Iranian material in favor of sources like Russia, Vietnam and Malaysia. The shift in purchasing patterns has caused offers for Russian billet to rise by about $10/mt, or 2%, over the past two weeks. US President Donald Trump on May 8 imposed sanctions on Iran’s...

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Energy and commodities highlights: US steel and aluminum tariffs, Middle East oil and electric power

Tariffs and trade deals are sticking to the top of the commodities agenda, after the US reached an agreement to remove Section 232 tariffs on steel and aluminum imports from Canada and Mexico. The deal, announced on May 17, removes US import tariffs of 25% on steel and 10% on aluminum, without imposing quotas to cap imports. Mexican steel producers welcomed the tariff removal, but remain in a challenging position due to pressure from US buyers to reduce prices, an increase in raw material...

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Iron ore markets digest impact of Vale tailings dam disaster

Ahead of the S&P Global Platts Global Metals Awards in London, on May 16, The Barrel presents a special series of articles looking at the global metals trade. Here, Jun Kai Heng looks at how iron ore buyers and sellers are adapting to tightened supply of specific products, following the accident at one of Vale’s Brazilian operations in January. On January 25, a Vale tailings dam in Brumadinho, part of its Southern Systems mining operations, collapsed, resulting in  massive loss of life...

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Chinese steel output rises relentlessly despite plant closures

Ahead of the S&P Global Platts Global Metals Awards in London, on May 16, The Barrel presents a special series of articles looking at the global metals trade. Paul Bartholomew and Jing Zhang take an in-depth look at China’s steel production in recent years, and the likely trajectory in 2019. Just a few years ago, market updates from major iron ore producers Rio Tinto and BHP routinely stated that they expected Chinese crude steel production to reach 1 billion metric tons by the end...

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Turkish steel navigates trade barriers and flagging domestic demand

Ahead of the S&P Global Platts Global Metals Awards in London, on May 16, The Barrel presents a special series of articles looking at the global metals trade. Here, Pascal Dick analyzes the impact of new US tariffs, economic headwinds and other challenges on steel and ferrous scrap flows into and out of the country. After a healthy first half of 2018, the Turkish steel market now faces a drop in demand from both domestic and international customers. International policy changes and a...

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Iron ore trade growth fuels demand for derivatives and competition between Asian bourses

Ahead of the S&P Global Platts Global Metals Awards in London, on May 16, The Barrel presents a special series of articles looking at the global metals trade. Here, Joseph Tong and Petter Kolderup investigate the growth of iron ore derivatives trading, and rising competition between two leading bourses, Singapore’s SGX and Dalian’s DCE. In order to become the second-largest economy in the world, China has built up its infrastructure in a systemic, large-scale fashion since...

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Global steel industry watches for outcome of Indian elections

The swearing in of Narendra Modi as the 15th prime minister of India on 26 May 2014 brought a renewed sense of enthusiasm and vigor to the nation, against the promise of “ache din” – good days – in the future. Five years on, as the world’s largest election is underway in the country, feelings about the current political situation are complicated, but what is certain is that the world will be watching carefully for the outcome of the vote. Government policies have provoked fierce debate in...

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Toxic air catastrophe triggers scrap metal revolution in China

Minerals producers have made fortunes over the last decade to slake China’s thirst for raw industrial metals. But in the future their profits could be hit by the Middle Kingdom recycling ever-greater quantities of its own ferrous scrap to meet industrial demand and, more importantly, cut dangerous pollution levels. It is an interesting time to be a scrap dealer in China. The market for recycled metal in the world’s second-largest economy is booming. Demand for steel scrap for...

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Steel tariffs threaten US wind generation growth as input costs rise

Steel tariffs and the looming end of the tax credits in 2020 could slow the booming wind build out in the coming years. Solar and wind energy are expected to be the fastest growing sources of US electricity generation over the next two years, according to the US Energy Information Administration. EIA’s January 2019 Short-Term Energy Outlook forecasts wind generation to grow by 12% in 2019 and 14% in 2020, even while total U.S. electricity generation across all fuels will fall by 2% this...

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