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Tag Archives: steel

US Section 232: Trump runs countercurrent to global steel’s decarbonization drive

The US is taking steps to boost crude steel output as a result of this week’s imposition of Section 232 import tariffs on steel and aluminum – measures that could potentially block some 28 million mt of steel imports and boost local steel production by up to 19.5 million mt. This likely means burning more coal, bringing back on stream up to 5 million mt of idled coke plant capacity to fuel blast furnaces, and greater usage of pollutant lower grade taconite Minnesota and Michigan iron...

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Gasoline, jet fuel prices set the pace in the Trump era: Of Presidents and Prices

With President Donald Trump now into his second year in office, several key commodity prices were 5% stronger on average through the end of February, compared with on January 19, 2017, the day before his inauguration. Eight of the 11 commodity benchmark, running-average prices being tracked by S&P Global Platts since Trump took the oath of office were up, led by Chicago gasoline (+11.8%) and jet fuel (+8.9%). Dated Brent crude’s running average during the Trump era was $56.14/b for the...

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Japan aluminum’s tipple of choice: US bourbon in a can

Jim Beam, the world’s biggest-selling US bourbon whiskey, is sold mostly in aluminum cans in Japan — which could potentially take an unintended hit from the US’ recent move to impose a 10% levy on aluminum imports. Depending on how world leaders respond, global aluminum supply flows may change if there are hiccups in the supply chain and volatility in prices. Australia, which has been exempted from the new US aluminum and steel tariffs, is not a major aluminum exporter to...

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As We Were Saying…

…yesterday on politics driving the tariff  “proclamation.” It is All Politics Note, today’s announcement on tariffs was a proclamation, not even a legal document.   Only words, and we know, for certainty, with this president, words can mean whatever he wants them to, and can change day to day. The timing of the announcement is hollow as it is political. President Trumps plans to stump in Pennsylvania’s 18th congressional district this weekend, where the Democratic candidate, Conor and...

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Iron ore cost-effective for steel mills as price diverges from scrap

Some Chinese steel mills are responding to the strong domestic scrap price by switching back to using higher proportions of iron ore in the burden mix. An S&P Global Platts analysis of the relationship between iron ore and scrap prices shows that there has been a significant divergence for the first time since 2013. The fast-rising scrap market has outpaced iron ore prices, making iron ore the most cost-effective raw material for mills. Based on the analysis, domestic scrap is...

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Steel or bourbon? Trump may need both

From the legendary Pittsburgh steelworker to the things he may own — blue jeans, bourbon and Harley-Davidson motorcycles — President Donald Trump’s trade policy and the reaction to it have been both ironic and iconic. Steel was the arrow point of Trump’s America First campaign for president. He said he cared more about Pittsburgh than Paris, although as a globe-trotting businessman he may have spent much more time in the latter than the former. But the focus on steel...

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After a year of Trump, most energy prices now ahead of Obama’s last day: Of Presidents and Prices

It took nearly 12 months for several key commodity prices during President Donald Trump’s first year to surpass their levels on President Barack Obama’s final day in office. Commodity prices had bumped along mostly sideways until a late rally in fourth-quarter 2017. Some are now up sharply in recent weeks, lending support to the broader economic debate around inflation. The US Federal Reserve’s mid-range inflation forecast is at 1.9% for this year and 2% for 2019; however, many material and...

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Trump trade rift report adds a chapter to steel import saga

US market players anxiously awaiting President Donald Trump’s decision on whether or not to restrain steel imports got something else instead: the report of a rift between Trump and Wilbur Ross, secretary of the US Department of Commerce, which launched the import investigation last year. Online news organization Axios reported early this week that Ross had fallen out of favor with Trump and that US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer has taken over as chief trade negotiator. Ross, a...

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China encouraging electric arc furnace capacity expansion?

Monday’s release by China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology of revised steel capacity replacement measures has sparked market debate about MIIT’s real intentions regarding electric arc furnaces. Some pundits Tuesday were adamant the new rules encourage the replacement of converters with EAFs and would result in net EAF steel capacity expanding. MIIT’s revised measures, published on Monday, were based on directives issued in early 2015. According to the revised...

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Jan-Dec energy price averages rally late in first year of Trump: Of Presidents and Prices

Seven of the benchmark commodity prices being tracked by S&P Global Platts since US President Donald J. Trump took office closed out 2017 higher than when President Obama left. Until Q4 2017, most commodity prices had struggled to see their 2017 running averages match — or surpass — their levels on the last day Obama held the office. Although fundamentals and a range of other factors — such as seasonality, especially this time of year — influence commodity prices,...

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