This morning in metals news, the chairman of the Japan Iron and Steel Federation warns that U.S. tariffs on its steel imports could lead to retaliation, copper hit its five-month high and aluminum producer Norsk Hydro expects 2017 to present a balanced aluminum market.
Section 232 Tariffs, If Instituted, Could Lead to Blowback
The world continues to wait for the Trump administration’s announcement regarding the conclusion of its Section 232 investigation into steel imports. Most, however, predict that tariffs will be the remedy President Donald Trump chooses, a course of action which EU Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmstrom in recent weeks said would lead to retaliatory measures from the EU.
Japan has also joined the fray in warning of retaliation if tariffs are slapped onto steel coming into the U.S.
In a report from Industry Week, Kosei Shindo, chairman of the Japan Iron and Steel Federation, told reporters Monday that other countries could respond with protectionism on products other than steel, opening Pandora’s box.
Copper Riding High
Copper continues its strong run, hitting a five-month high Tuesday, Reuters reported.
Positive news on the Chinese economy and a weak U.S. dollar contributed to the rise for copper.
Earlier today, our Stuart Burns wrote about copper’s big year to date.
A Balanced Market
Norsk Hydro CEO and President Svein Richard Brandtzaeg said he expects a “largely balanced” global aluminum market this year.
“We see a global primary aluminium deficit in the quarter. This is driven by increasing deficit outside China. For the full year, we are maintaining our 4-6 percent annual aluminium demand growth outlook for 2017 and expect a largely balanced, global aluminium market,” Brandtzæg said in the aluminum producer’s second-quarter results announcement.
Hydro, which earlier this month announced the acquisition of Sapa, reported second-quarter earnings of NOK 2,930 million.