Steel vs. Aluminum Debate Dominates Automotive Metals’ Week

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The week in automotive metals was dominated by the ongoing debate over how to best lighten US and European cars. Aluminum manufacturers Novelis and Alcoa were confronted by competition from smaller aluminum manufacturers after years of trying to get GM and Ford to retool their factories to produce aluminum-bodied cars.

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Meanwhile, ArcelorMittal, the world’s largest steelmaker, opened its first joint-venture Chinese steel plant specifically designed to capture the rapidly growing Chinese automotive market. CEO Lakshmi Mittal said the plant was a first step toward in a long-term strategy to serve more of the Chinese automotive market.

A separate report detailed how Asian automakers are sticking with lightweight steel rather than making the switch to aluminum that we’re seeing in North America.

The week’s biggest mover on the weekly Automotive MMI® was the price of US palladium bar, which saw a 4.1 percent decline to $823.00 per ounce. This comes on the heels of a 2.9 percent increase the week before. Following a 3.0 percent increase in the week prior, the price of US platinum bar fell 2.2 percent last week to $1,445 per ounce.

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The price of US HDG declined 0.6 percent over the past week, settling at $782.00 per short ton.

The 3-month price of copper rose 1.2 percent on the LME to $6,735 per metric ton after falling 1.8 percent during the previous week. The primary copper cash price rose 0.7 percent on the LME to $6,739 per metric ton after falling 2.1 percent during the previous week. The price of Chinese lead fell 0.5 percent to CNY 13,950 ($2,239) per metric ton after rising 0.4 percent the week before. Closing at KRW 3,890 ($3.82) per kilogram, Korean 5052 coil premium over 1050 sheet remained unchanged for the week.

The Automotive MMI® collects and weights 7 metal price points used in automotive production to provide a unique view into automotive metal trends. For more information on the Automotive MMI®, how it’s calculated or how your company can use the index, please drop us a note at: info (at) agmetalminer (dot) com.

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