ArcelorMittal CEO Strikes Back at Aluminum Automobile Bodies

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ArcelorMittal, the world’s biggest steel company, is fighting back against aluminum’s advances in the U.S. and European automotive industries by investing heavily in fast-growing car markets, such as China and Mexico, where steel still rules, according to CEO Lakshmi Mittal.

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In a report in the Wall Street Journal, Mittal also challenged claims that aluminum is invariably lighter, saying the aluminum industry uses outdated data when comparing its metal to steel. In prepared remarks to be delivered Tuesday morning at a steel conference, Mittal said new forms of steel can compete with aluminum on weight. “Steel can provide all the weight reduction that auto producers require to satisfy the new fuel-efficiency standards, for all types of vehicle,” Mr. Mittal said.

The aluminum cash price saw little movement on Friday, June 13, remaining at $1,822 per metric ton on the LME. The 3-month price of aluminum flattened at $1,861 per metric ton after two days of downward movement on the LME. Following two days of downward movement, the Indian aluminum cash price held steady at INR 109.45 ($1.83) per kilogram.

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Chinese aluminum prices were flat for the day. The price of Chinese aluminum scrap remained essentially flat at CNY 12,250 ($1,972) per metric ton. For the fifth day in a row, the price of Chinese aluminum billet remained essentially flat at CNY 13,590 ($2,188) per metric ton. The price of Chinese aluminum bar continues hovering around CNY 14,200 ($2,286) per metric ton for the fifth day in a row. The Chinese aluminum cash price saw little movement yesterday, closing out around CNY 13,370 ($2,152) per metric ton.

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