US Steel Shutting Down Texas, Pennsylvania Plants, Blames South Korean Imports

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Pittsburgh-based US Steel Corp.said it would temporarily close plants in Texas and Pennsylvania and blamed illegally-priced imports, raising the volume on trade disputes with China and South Korea.

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The steelmaker said Monday it would indefinitely idle plants in Bellville, Texas, and McKeesport, Pa., that make steel pipe and tube for the oil and gas industries, affecting 260 workers. US Steel closures require 60 days advance notice under federal law, so the plants will not actually close until early August. That is also when a final decision is expected from U.S. trade officials on whether to impose tariffs on steel from South Korea, whose steel exports to the US increased 73% in the first four months of this year from a year earlier, the Wall Street Journal reported.

US trade officials in February found in a preliminary decision that South Korea wasn’t “dumping” steel, that is, selling it at unfair prices.

The day’s biggest mover broke away from a static phase with a 2.2 percent drop on Monday, June 2. After three changeless days, the US HRC futures contract spot price closed at $670.00 per short ton. The 3-month price of the US HRC futures contract held steady around $623.00 per short ton.

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Chinese steel prices closed flat for the day. The price of iron ore 58% fines from India hit a high price of CNY 840.00 ($134.37) and a low price of CNY 830.00 ($132.77) per dry metric ton. The price of Chinese HRC showed little movement yesterday at CNY 3,380 ($540.69) per metric ton. The price of Chinese coking coal remained essentially flat at CNY 1,390 ($222.35) per metric ton.

The cash price of steel billet saw little movement on the LME at $390.00 per metric ton. For the fifth day in a row, the steel billet 3-month price remained essentially flat on the LME at $400.00 per metric ton.

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