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Tag Archives: steel

Watching the dominoes fall for US steel

The domino theory in global politics — pertaining to the spread of communism, kids — is a thing of the past, but it is getting new life in the global steel arena — not the communism part, the domino part. The most recent example in steel is a “double domino.” First, there is market chatter that US mills may soon file unfair trade cases against plate imports in response to an imminent trade case filing by European producers against plate imports from China and other countries. The...

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Weak iron ore market sends miners far afield in China

The persistently weak outlook for iron ore and steel has forced some Chinese miners to get creative to stay in business. Shenzhen-listed Shandong Geo-mineral is looking to the tire sector after recording losses in iron ore mining and sales since 2014. The company, based in Jinan, Shandong province, announced August 8 it would to set up a joint venture with Shandong Huitong Tyre, with the iron ore miner investing Yuan 210 million ($33 million) in exchange for a 70% stake in the new entity. The...

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Seaborne nickel ore trade still a deadly ‘game of Russian roulette’

“Carrying solid bulk cargoes involves serious risks, which must be managed carefully to safeguard the crew and the ship. These risks include reduced ship stability (and even capsizing) due to cargo liquefaction; fire or explosion due to chemical hazards; and damage to ship structures due to poor loading procedures.” — The opening paragraph of the introduction of Carrying Solid Bulk Cargoes Safely guide, published in 2013 by UK classification society Lloyd’s Register, in...

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Bumpy road ahead for US infrastructure and steelmakers who create it

Half a loaf is better than none, but what about 1/24 of a loaf? That’s a question the steel industry and other major stakeholders in US infrastructure projects may be asking themselves this week. Last week Washington legislators rushed out of town after approving a mere three months of federal funding for transportation infrastructure projects — after giving up on a comprehensive six-year plan that authorized the spending of $350 billion. The eleventh hour crisis measure will only serve to...

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The allure of steel

There’s something about steel. Before I joined Steel Business Briefing in 2008, I’d never really known what I wanted to do career-wise. I worked for some good companies, including competitors of Platts (which acquired SBB in 2011), but never really envisaged staying in the price reporting sector. Nothing against it, I was just young and finding my way, armed with humanities degrees that didn’t gear me up for much outside of education. But there’s something about steel. My colleagues Joe...

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Trying to find what works for US steelmakers and employees

Negotiating a union labor contract is often a slog. It gets more complicated if it’s a multi-year deal, and a bit treacherous if it’s a highly cyclical business. All three apply to the steel industry, where major producers are in contract negotiations with the United Steelworkers union for long-term deals to replace current ones, which expire September 1. Throw in weak steel demand and high import penetration and it gets even stickier. Bad times like these put unions at a disadvantage. Mills...

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