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Tag Archives: steel

Aluminum swings in the spotlight — largely a tale of scarcity concerns and tariffs

Aluminum, like steel, has grabbed headlines in 2018. The all-in price of this primary metal used in everything from transportation, to construction, to consumer goods has fluctuated since January — sometimes widely — in large part a response to US trade ‘war’ concerns and supply scarcity. One effect of the 2018 tariffs and higher US aluminum prices: a scramble to ramp up domestic production. Century Aluminum, Alcoa and Magnitude 7 Metals are all working to restart three aluminum...

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EU forges ahead with steel sector M&A – but it won’t solve overcapacity

European steel’s current major M&A activity — driven by market recovery since mid-2017 — aims to achieve synergies and boost cost-effectiveness in a global steel sector still plagued by as much as 657 million mt of overcapacity, according to Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development estimates. ArcelorMittal (AM), the world’s biggest steelmaker, is to acquire Italy’s biggest, Ilva, while the knot has been tied between Thyssenkrupp Steel Europe and...

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Don’t hold your breath — 2+42 Chinese steel-producing cities

On July 20, Tangshan, the steelmaking hub in northern China’s Hebei province, turned up the heat on pollutant industries by imposing a 43-day output cut on local blast furnaces. In parallel, Chinese authorities are removing a further 30 million mt/year of crude steel capacity. When compared with the winter heating season of November 2017 to March 2018, the iteration proposed for 2018 is set to affect a greater land-area. China imposed production cuts on blast furnaces and sinter plants...

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Battle on the Iron Range: Between a Cliff and a Hard Place

US miner Cleveland-Cliffs said Monday the courts handed it the breakthrough it wanted at a site rich with iron ore resources in Minnesota. The United States Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware has reaffirmed the 2017 Cliffs acquisition of land located in Nashwauk, Minnesota, and the ruling resolved the land dispute in favor of Cliffs and Glacier Park Iron Ore Properties, the miner said in a statement Monday. Cliffs CEO Lourenco Goncalves said on Friday he was determined to fight...

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S&P Global Platts China Steel Sentiment Index stable in July: steel production seen rising, export outlook recovers

Chinese steel market sentiment is generally unchanged in July from the month before, with domestic orders expected to remain stable, though the outlook for export orders has improved, according to the latest S&P Global Platts China Steel Sentiment Index or CSSI, which showed a headline reading of 27.45 out of a possible 100 points. The headline CSSI, which measures the combined outlook for new domestic and export steel orders, fell by 1.79 points from 27.45 in June. It was the third...

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It’s a steel cage fight for product exclusions in the underground tariff wars

Steel consumers and producers in the US are duking it out. The battle is mostly under the radar and in the back rooms and alleys surrounding the Trump administration’s chaotic trade policy. Tariff headlines tend to concentrate on the alienation of allies and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s “special place in hell.” However, aside from all the grappling amongst trading partners, day-to-day steel consumers are digging in to the US government’s harmonized tariff schedule in an attempt to...

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China dares to dream in an era of change

China is at the forefront of global commodity demand and last year overtook even the US to become the world’s largest importer of crude oil. With its gargantuan appetite and enormous capacities, it is a country that no one in the energy and commodity space in the 21st century can ignore. Perhaps more so than ever before, the country’s vision for its economy, its environment and its role on the world stage has been clearly mapped out. Under the leadership of President Xi Jinping – who is...

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Iron ore quality differentials evolve as market fundamentals shift

Since January S&P Global Platts quality differentials for the gangue elements such as alumina, silica and phosphorous have evolved to reflect changing market fundamentals. The alumina differential soared 100% from $1.50/dmt in January 2018 to $3.00/dmt in May 2018. Phosphorous has also seen large increases from a steady $1.30/dmt throughout the last quarter of 2017 to $2.50/dmt on May 18, where it has remained. The most extreme moves have been seen across both silica differentials, but...

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Exit the Dragon? New steel tariff could divert Chinese steel back to Asia

With new steel tariffs imposed by the US, Chinese and ASEAN steel is becoming more expensive in the US. While China contributes only 2% of finished steel entering the US, Chinese items made from steel and aluminium – along with countless “transiting metals” – are likely to take a far greater share. In fact, China was the second-largest source of imports of steel and aluminum products into the US in 2017, second to Canada but above Mexico. Should a strong uptick in US domestic...

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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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