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Tag Archives: steel

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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King coal retreats in Europe, but still powers global growth

Coal is having a bad time in Europe. Germany – the world’s fourth largest economy – has said it will phase out coal-fired power generation by 2038 while in the UK, the closure of another large coal plant was announced. Despite these setbacks, the fuel of the industrial revolution still has a vital role to play powering global growth in the future. German power plant operators have until next year to outline plans to replace lignite – often referred to as “brown coal” – as an electricity...

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China’s quest for cleaner skies drives change in iron ore market

The iron ore market’s structural change last year is all to do with the environment, and led by demand patterns in China. Iron ore with a higher content of iron, Fe, allows a reduction of coal usage in the steelmaking process, lowering carbon emissions. So trade has shifted away from the standard 62% Fe-quality base – the traditional iron ore benchmark product – to a multi-tier market. This includes specialty products that may be tailor-made for specific steel mills, with premiums,...

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Insight from Shanghai: Waking up from the Chinese dream

There have been better starts to the New Year. The December Caixin Manufacturing PMI, a survey of Chinese manufacturing activity, contracted for the first time in 17 months. Soon after, reports began to emerge that China’s growth target will be lower than that set for 2018. Apple, once the world’s most valuable company, sent shock waves across financial markets. It revised down its earnings for the end of 2018 citing an economic slowdown in China that was significantly greater than they had...

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Trump steel tariffs persist in 2019, but quotas could provide wiggle room

US President Donald Trump’s administration rocked the global steel market in 2018, with the introduction of a 25% tariff on steel imports that changed trade flows and set off a chain reaction of retaliatory tariffs and additional safeguard measure from other countries. With the tariffs still in place, 2019 is looking to be another turbulent year for steel as the US heads into fresh trade negotiations with major markets including Japan and the EU. Meanwhile, the trilateral deal with...

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Steel company stock prices decline despite Trump tariff boasts

In early December, President Donald Trump tweeted: “…I am a Tariff Man. When people or countries come in to raid the great wealth of our Nation, I want them to pay for the privilege of doing so. It will always be the best way to max out our economic power. We are right now taking in $billions in Tariffs. MAKE AMERICA RICH AGAIN” Making good on his promise, or at least part of it, a 25% tariff on steel imports to the US was imposed March 8 of this year. But despite the tough talk, there is...

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Funding the main challenge for Indian steel growth

India’s steel production is expected to almost double by 2025 and M&A activity could result in a leaner industry, but headwinds remain, including tight credit lines and exposure to raw material prices. S&P Global Platts spent a week in India in November, mainly to host our Steel Markets Asia conference in Mumbai, but also to meet with companies and visit operations. There was plenty of positivity about the state of the local steel market, as well as a few notes of caution. S&P...

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Insight: Brazil steel touts Bolsonaro despite controversy

The Brazilian steel, metals and mining sectors expect an upturn in investments in the country in second-half 2019 following inauguration of a new government which aims to end a period of institutionalized corruption. Representatives of industry associations and the mining sector talked up the prospects of economic recovery under incoming president Jair Bolsonaro last week in Rio de Janeiro, but bumps in the road may remain, from a tricky trade relationship with China to the high cost of...

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Trump breaking supply chain eggs to make trade deal omelets

Who knew trade deal bargaining chips were made of steel and aluminum? Apparently, US President Donald Trump did. Earlier this week Trump triumphantly defended his 25% global tariff on steel and 10% tariff on aluminum as key drivers in achieving recent trade deals for the leverage they provided. He took on opponents of his tariff strategy, calling them “babies” as many were fearful of starting trade wars, alienating longtime allies, wrecking well-established supply chains and...

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Steel and the circular economy: Interview with Dr Edwin Basson, worldsteel director general

The circular economy concept is simple in its proposition: Create a regenerative system in which the use and waste of resources are minimized by re-using and re-manufacturing materials prior to recycling. Less simple is its implementation, which requires the global economy to redesign its processes and detach itself from the old linear model of take-make-dispose. These were the topics surrounding a conference organized by the World Steel Association (worldsteel) in Brussels with a spotlight...

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