This morning in metals news, imports of steel into the U.S. are up 18% through the first 11 months of the year, Rio Tinto completed a $1.5 billion buyback of its shares, and Japan’s biggest copper smelter expects copper price to continue to rise in 2018 and beyond.
Imports Up 18% Through November
Imports of steel in the U.S. are up 18% through the first 11 months of the year, according to preliminary Census Bureau data cited by the American Iron and Steel Institute (AISI).
The U.S. imported a total of 2,718,000 net tons (NT) of steel in November 2017, including 2,126,000 net tons (NT) of finished steel (down 14.6% and 16.8, respectively, versus October final data).
Total and finished steel imports through 11 months are 35,632,000 and 27,637,000 net tons (NT), up 17.5% and 14.3%, respectively, versus the same period in 2016.
Rio Tinto Finishes Major Buyback
Mining firm Rio Tinto said it had completed a $1.5 billion share buyback, with more to come, according to a Nasdaq report.
According to the report, Rio Tinto said today that it will commence a further $1.925 billion on-market buyback of Rio Tinto plc shares, to be completed no later than Dec. 31, 2018.
Copper on the Rise
According to a Japanese copper smelter, 2018 offers a healthy diagnosis for “Dr. Copper.”
The largest copper smelter in Japan, Pan Pacific, says copper prices will continue to rise next year, according to a Reuters report.
Executive officer Satoshi Arai said the firm expects copper prices to average $7,280 a ton in 2018 and $7,720 a ton in 2019 (compared with $6,100 a ton this year).