This Morning in Metals: U.S. Raw Steel Production Rises 5.7%

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This morning in metals news, U.S. raw steel production for the week ending Dec. 16 was up from the same week in 2016, Tata Steel is working on technology that cuts emissions and potential copper strikes in 2018 could significantly impact supply going forward.

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U.S. Raw Steel Production Rises 5.7%

For the week ending Dec. 16, raw steel production in the U.S. was up 5.7% compared with the same week in 2016, according to weekly data from the American Iron and Steel Institute (AISI).

Production for the week was 1,698,000 net tons (NT), which was also up 1.6% from the week ending Dec. 9.

Tata Steel Eyes Emissions Cuts

According to a report in the Financial Times, Tata Steel’s work on technology that can curb emissions has reached its final stage at the firm’s Netherlands facility.

The method, dubbed HIsarna, being tested by Tata aims to potentially replace traditional blast furnaces for making liquid iron.

According to Tata, the process cuts out several steps in the traditional process, resulting in an approximately 20% reduction in emissions.

Copper Strikes on the Horizon?

For copper watchers, labor negotiations in Chile and elsewhere could result in further strikes and, consequently, a tightening of global supply.

Reuters’ Andy Home touched on the possibility of strikes affecting copper miners’ operations next year.

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In fact, three strikes have already taken place at South American operations in recent weeks, Home reported, including one last week at the Quebrada Blanca mine in Chile.

The labor strife has yet to have a significant impact on the copper price, Home reported, but with a significant number of contracts up for renewal in Chile, a failure to find common ground could lead to a rising copper price next year.

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