Articles in Category: Imports

A massive stockpile of 500,000 metric tons of aluminum has been trucked out of the Mexican city of San José Iturbide and shipped to a remote port in Vietnam.

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The Wall Street Journal reports that the stockpile is believed to be related to the product of Chinese aluminum producer China Zhongwang.

Zhongwang is a state-supported enterprise that has received large benefits and financing from the government of China. The company also has a long history of circumventing and evading duties in trade cases. Read more

A massive stockpile of 500,000 metric tons of aluminum has been trucked out of the Mexican city of San José Iturbide and shipped to a remote port in Vietnam, according to shipping records and people familiar with the matter.

MetalMiner Price Benchmarking: Current and Historical Prices for the Metals You Buy

The Wall Street Journal reports that the stockpile is believed to be related to or entirely the product of Chinese aluminum producer China Zhongwang. As a result of moving the massive stockpile, Vietnam has become a major importer of aluminum extrusions this year.

Preliminary Steel Exports Down

Based on preliminary Census Bureau data, the American Iron and Steel Institute reported that the U.S. imported a total of 2,682,000 net tons of steel in October, including 2,225,000 nt of finished steel (down 3.4% and up 4.7%, respectively, vs. September final data).

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On the year-to-date (YTD), through 10 months of 2016, total and finished steel imports are 27,486,000 and 22,017,000 nt, down 19% and 19.8%, respectively, vs. the same period in 2015. Annualized total and finished steel imports in 2016 would be 33.0 and 26.4 million nt, down 15% and 16.1%, respectively, vs. 2015. Finished steel import market share was an estimated 26% in October and is estimated at 25% on the year.

The Department of Commerce, late yesterday, placed import duties on carbon and alloy steel cut-to-length plate from Brazil, South Africa, and Turkey.

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For the purpose of anti-dumping investigations, dumping occurs when a foreign company sells a product in the U.S. at less than its fair value.

In the Brazil investigation. Commerce found dumping has occurred by Companhia Siderurgica Nacional and Usinas Siderurgicas de Minas Gerais SA, at a final dumping margin of 74.52%. The dumping margin for the mandatory respondents was based on adverse facts available (AFA) they did not cooperate in the investigation. Commerce established a final dumping margin of 74.52% for all other producers/exporters in Brazil.

In the South Africa investigation, commerce found dumping occurred by Evraz Highveld Steel and Vanadium Corp., at a final margin of 94.14%. They also did not cooperate in the investigation. Commerce calculated a dumping margin of 87.72% for all other producers/exporters in South Africa.

In the Turkey investigation, Commerce found dumping occurred by Ereğli Demir ve Çelik Fabrikalari T.A.Ş., at a dumping margin of 50%. It, too, did not cooperate in the investigation. Commerce calculated a final dumping margin of 42.02% for all other producers/exporters in Turkey.

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As a result of the final affirmative determinations, Commerce will instruct U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) to collect cash deposits equal to the applicable weighted-average dumping margins.

The Commerce Department has placed countervailing duty investigation of imports of finished carbon steel flanges from India.

Free Download: The November 2016 MMI Report

A countervailable subsidy is financial assistance from foreign governments that benefits the production of goods from foreign companies and is limited to specific enterprises or industries, or is contingent either upon export performance or upon the use of domestic goods over imported goods.

Commerce calculated preliminary subsidy rates of 2.76% and 3.66% for mandatory respondents Norma (India) Ltd., its three cross-owned affiliates, and RN Gupta & Company Limited, respectively. Commerce established a preliminary subsidy rate of 3.21% for all other producers/exporters in India.

Industry Groups Still Challenging EPA Mercury Rule

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency‘s additional, court-ordered justification of its rule limiting mercury and other toxic emissions from coal-fired power plants fails to show how the rule’s benefits outweigh its compliance costs, states and industry groups fighting the revamped rule told the D.C. Circuit on Friday.

What a possible infrastructure plan from President-elect Donald Trump might look like started to emerge this week. It involves public-private partnerships with the private dollars promised in exchange for tax credits and like much of what our soon-to-be-president does it’s yuuuuge at an estimated $1 trillion.

MetalMiner Price Benchmarking: Current and Historical Prices for the Metals You Buy

The markets — including metals — responded favorably. Even the U.S. dollar and metals prices abandoned their usual inverse correlation as both increased. The Dow Jones Industrial Average hit its highest level since 2011, even.

Are aluminum slabs welded together really "deep-processed extrusions?"

Are aluminum stockpiles related to China Zhongwang?

While we were celebrating what we think is certain deregulation and a better business environment to come here in the U.S., our own government was doing some regulating of its own. The Commerce Department is still investigating China Zhongwang for allegedly selling Aluminum 5050 alloy products that make no sense just to avoid anti-dumping and countervailing duties orders.

A Simple Mistake? Or a Sophisticated Aluminum Scam?

China Zhongwang Spokeswoman Harriet Lau said the company only provided the product, which the company doesn’t normally sell, because their U.S. distributor requested it and that they made and shipped very little of it. The customer is always right, right? Wrong.

Now China Zhongwang’s proposed acquisition of U.S. aluminum company Aleris — a company that would love to be acquired by a multinational rather than an investor looking to make a quick buck on a turnaround — is in doubt.

Hey, Remember that Transpacific Trade Partnership?

Further cementing how difficult free trade between countries with disparate economic systems can be, the Trans-Pacific Partnership between the U.S. and 12 countries is dead for the short term and maybe permanently. China wasn’t a signatory to TPP but now that the U.S. and its allies are out of the way, the People’s Republic is stepping into the vacuum to try to woo the former Asian suitor nations to a new pact with China while leaving out the U.S., Canada, Australia and others.

Free Download: The November 2016 MMI Report

So, what could have been U.S.-style intellectual property and trading rules could very much be Chinese-style economics if a different deal is reached. Is this the price of anti-globalization?

One Chinese aluminum company above all others seems to have stirred up controversy in the North American market.

China Zhongwang has been cited in a Department of Commerce preliminary determination that its shipments into the U.S.A. of aluminum alloy 5050 extrusions were an attempt to circumvent anti-dumping (AD) and countervailing duties (CVD) rulings on 6000 series extrusion alloys, a case that is ongoing.

Free Download: The November 2016 MMI Report

Now, the firm’s proposed $2.3 billion purchase of U.S. aluminum producer Aleris Corporation is embroiled in political objections after senators asked treasury secretary Jack Lew to launch a review of the deal.

China Zhongwang Speaks

In an interview with Harriet Lau of China Zhongwang Holdings in Hong Kong, MetalMiner sought the Chinese producer’s side of the story. Maybe not surprisingly, Lau refuted claims that China Zhongwang had tried in any way to circumvent AV/CVD regulations by shipping 5050 alloy into the US market. Read more

Have you brought your metals suppliers into the digital economy? Would you like to?

MetalMiner Price Benchmarking: Current and Historical Prices for the Metals You Buy

Tracking shipments, confirming delivery schedules and knowing when rail, ship or road bottlenecks are affecting your materials supply chain can give you the time and cost certainty you need to run your business more efficiently.

Are your suppliers part of a proprietary supplier network? From an overall digitization perspective, asking suppliers to join a proprietary supplier network in today’s world, especially for the complicated metals supply chain, would be like giving them a model T to get from point A to point B on today’s complicated interstate highway system.

For manufacturers, the metals supply chain can involve international freight, financial risk management, logistics and technical expertise. Yet many suppliers still aren’t optimizing the technologies to track, hedge, ship and manage your metals purchases that are available today.

What does readying your suppliers for the digital economy really require? Join Jason Busch from Spend Matters and Marco De Vries, Senior Director, OpenText Business Network, as they discuss and debate the topic. They’ll explore a range of topics and their impact on procurement and supply chain transformation: The Internet of Things (IoT), peer-to-peer, the sharing economy, AI/machine learning, platform business models, social collaboration, blockchain and more.

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Tune in Thursday, November 17th at11:00 AM Eastern (10:00 AM Central and 4 PM U.K.). The even will be available On-Demand after the day of recording. Register Now!

The Department of Commerce placed preliminary anti-dumping duties on imports of carbon and alloy steel cut-to-length plate (CTL plate) from nine countries. Some of the tariffs were as high as 130.63%.

MetalMiner Price Benchmarking: Current and Historical Prices for the Metals You Buy

Anti-dumping laws provides U.S. businesses and workers with a transparent, quasi-judicial, and internationally accepted mechanism to seek relief from the market-distorting effects caused by injurious dumping of imports.

Austria

In the Austria investigation, Commerce preliminarily found that dumping has occurred by the sole mandatory respondent Bohler Edelstahl GmbH & Co KG, Bohler Bleche GmbH & Co KG, Bohler International GmbH, Voestalpine Grobblech GmbH, and Voestalpine Steel Service Center GmbH (collectively, Voestalpine) at a preliminary dumping margin of 41.97%. Read more

UPDATE: Ruling from Commerce detail on 5050 aluminum extrusions now included in this post.

The Department of Commerce is expected to launch a formal investigation today into whether Chinese steel companies are shipping steel through Vietnam to avoid U.S. import tariffs, a person familiar with the matter told the Wall Street Journal.

Steelmakers Asked for Vietnam Investigation

The decision to investigate follows a complaint in September from U.S. steelmakers, and is an escalation of U.S. efforts to stop a glut of China-made metal from flooding U.S. markets. The inquiry could result in new tariffs on steel imported from China via Vietnam, under rules designed to prevent such a tariff-evading practice, known as circumvention. Read more

The tight oil and natural gas story here in the U.S. is often framed as a struggle between environmentalists who want to keep it — and other fossil fuels such as tight oil — in the ground, and drilling and exploration companies who want to sell it as a home heating and transportation fuel that at least burns cleaner than coal.

MetalMiner Price Benchmarking: Current and Historical Prices for the Metals You Buy

What’s often left out of the discussion is the advantages gas can provide for plants, factories and other major industrial users that have nothing to do with the light switches in your house or apartment.

Voestalpine's reducing tower

Voestalpine’s 450-foot-high direct reducing tower near Corpus Christi, Texas, takes iron ore pellets and reduces them to 91% iron briquettes. Customers include steel suppliers for BMW and Mercedes-Benz. Source: Jeff Yoders

Austria in Texas

Last week, I toured Austrian specialty steelmaker Voestalpine AG‘s new $1.4 billion, direct-reduction hot-briquetted iron (HBI) production facility near Corpus Christi, Texas. It’s estimated that company’s investment will generate an estimated $600 million over the next decade and the new facility has already added 190 jobs to the local economy.

HBI, or sponge iron is a pre-material used in steel production. The new Texas facility takes iron ore pellets that are roughly 60% iron and reduces them down to HBI that is 91% iron. They use a high-temperature, natural-gas fueled furnace tower, now the tallest building in South Texas at 450 feet, to “reduce” oxygen and other impurities out. Read more