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Tag Archives: steel

European steel industry looks for way forward amid coronavirus demand blow

The coronavirus has dealt the European steel sector a heavy blow. Coming on the heels of Brexit and global trade tensions, the crisis has also highlighted the region’s overcapacity problem, raising the possibility of previous merger and divestment plans being revived. As much as 18.9 million mt of steelmaking capacity was taken offline in Europe during the market slump caused by the pandemic – more than in any other region. This comes on top of 2019’s marginal contraction in production. By...

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Iron ore prices boom on supply shortages, record Chinese steel output

Over the past few challenging months, iron ore has been the standout commodity, returning to prices of $100/metric ton (delivered to China) in late May for the first time since August 2019. Demand for the key steelmaking raw material has been extremely resilient this year, supported by strong crude steel production in China, supply shortages and lower iron ore stocks at Chinese ports. China produced a record 92.27 million mt of crude steel in May, up 4.2% on the year, and June has...

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Insight Conversation: Christopher LaFemina, Jefferies LLC

Christopher LaFemina is managing director, global metals and mining equities research at Jefferies LLC, a global investment bank and financial services company. He talked to Diana Kinch and Paul Hickin about metals market trends as the COVID-19 crisis gradually eases, and how the industry might develop in the longer term. Christoper LaFemina, Jefferies LLC Metals prices have been on a rollercoaster since the beginning of the COVID-19 crisis. Many metals have now moved into a surplus, which...

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Around the tracks: Virus topples global autos and weakens steel coil prices

As some national lockdowns begin to ease, Clement Choo assesses latest indicators of the health of the global auto industry, and the performance of a key input for the sector, steel coil. Vehicle markets saw their first quarter performance take a beating, with existing weak demand pummeled by the coronavirus pandemic as countries around the world reacted by going into lockdown. GM suspended its 2020 profit outlook amid the uncertainty, after it added $16 billion to its cash reserves by...

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COVID-19’s sudden bite could have lasting impact on US steel market

I stepped on a snake the other day. It was near the woods at the back of our property, while I was gathering logs cut from a fallen tree. I’m sure the snake was frightened too, and he might be recounting now his close encounter with me to all of his reptile buddies. That didn’t prevent me, however, from screaming like a maniac and dashing faster from the danger than I’ve probably moved in a long time. While our interaction lasted less than five seconds before he slithered back into the...

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Commodity Tracker: 5 charts to watch this week

A look at crude oil quality across countries that have committed to cutting production, tumbling global gas prices, and trends in steelmaking raw materials all feature in this week’s pick of visuals. 1. As OPEC+ agreement kicks in, heavier crude could see bulk of cuts   Click to enlarge What’s happening? The OPEC+ production cuts go into effect May 1, and the beleaguered oil market will be watching to see if the 23-country alliance led by Saudi Arabia and Russia fulfills its...

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Commodity Tracker: 6 charts to watch this week

In this week’s pick of energy and commodity charts to watch, super tankers are in high demand to store oil while prices remain at historic lows. Plus, regional gas prices converge around all-time lows, European steel and aluminum demand plummets, and Asian gasoline markets expect little relief from oversupply. 1. Global crude oil glut creates demand for long-term floating storage     What’s happening? Some super tankers are being booked to store crude for up to three...

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Commodity Tracker: 5 charts to watch this week

US oil exports are under pressure as WTI’s differential to Middle Eastern offers narrows, reducing its appeal in Asia. Meanwhile, the gut-punch to global demand from the coronavirus pandemic is playing out across markets, putting EU carbon prices high on traders’ watchlist after last week’s nosedive. 1. WTI loses competitive edge in OPEC+ price war     What’s happening? US crude suppliers could fall victim to the price war triggered by Saudi Aramco’s latest move to...

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Italian power, gas demand slump illustrates how coronavirus has crippled industry

The fast spread of coronavirus in Italy, along with measures to restrict individual movement – the harshest since World War II – has dragged down power and gas demand in the country and caused prices to collapse. With government-imposed lockdowns coming into force across Europe since, the impact on the region’s energy markets is far from over. Italy could be seen as a case study, as it became the first European country to impose far-reaching measures to curb the spread of COVID-19, putting...

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China Macro & Metals: As work slowly resumes, high steel stocks weigh on prices

China’s virtual lockdown due to the coronavirus outbreak in February resulted in soaring steel inventories, which depressed prices and margins. Iron ore has been resilient, but for how much longer? Paul Bartholomew and Sebastian Lewis discuss the impact of the virus and when markets may return to normal. Supply demand imbalance leads to rising inventories The impact of the coronavirus on the economy was revealed by China’s two manufacturing purchasing managers’ indices with both falling to...

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