Week-in-Review: Rising Prices and a Campaign We Hope Will Finally End

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As oil prices flirted with $55/barrel this week, U.S. shale drillers expanded production and most metals saw their prices rise as energy and transportation costs went up, too. What a better week to report strong price increases in the October MetalMiner IndX? But it wasn’t all climbing prices.

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

The breakout metals star this year, zinc, has started to fall. Our own Raul de Frutos warns that it’s nothing to be worried about. Don’t expect zinc to turn bearish or anything. Meanwhile, in China, manufacturing provinces have found a way to curtail power costs, no matter what the price.

Liquid Molten Steel Industry

Why sell parts manufacturers boring ol’ formed products when you can sell them liquid aluminum that they can make into anything they want? Source: Adobe Stock/kybele.

As MetalMiner co-founder Stuart Burns explained, Chinese aluminum smelters are taking advantage of close proximity to manufacturers there to make molten aluminum — no refiring — their, umm, hottest product.

Our coverage of China this week went beyond aluminum, too. MetalMiner Managing Editor Taras Berezowsky sat down with the American Iron and Steel Institute’s SVP and General Counsel, Kevin Dempsey about what China’s ambitions to achieve market economy status would mean to the U.S. steel industry. Dempsey was actually one of the attorneys who worked on China’s initial acceptance into the WTO. Yep, he’d know.

While AISI and the entire North American steel industry are staunchly against China achieving market economy status, they’re also very much for the North American Free Trade Agreement in its current form. No changes, they say. Sorry, Mr. Trump.

Free Download: The October 2016 MMI Report

We talked with AISI a lot this week. During the steel industry group’s media conference call this week, AISI President and CEO Thomas J. Gibson said the group 100% supports NAFTA, despite the protestations of the  Republican Presidential Nominee and even unions such as the United Steelworkers. Only a few more weeks until we can all put this election behind us and people from Ohio can watch TV without being bombarded by campaign ads. Oh, you’re not alone, Ohio.

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