This Morning in Metals: Japan’s Steelmakers Enjoy Jump in Profits

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Pavel Ignatov/Adobe Stock

This morning in metals news, Japan’s steelmakers are on a hot run (despite the bad press of the Kobe Steel quality data falsification scandal), U.S. Steel reported fourth-quarter 2017 net earnings of $159 million and Glencore said production in 2017 was down for most commodities.

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Japanese Steelmakers Boast Surge in Profits

Despite the dark cloud hovering over Kobe Steel on the heels of its data falsification scandal, it’s been a strong nine months for Japan’s steelmakers.

According to Reuters, steelmakers in the country reported a jump in nine-month earnings, led by Nippon Steel & Sumitomo Metal Corp.

U.S. Steel Reports 4Q Earnings

U.S. Steel reported full-year 2017 net earnings of $387 million, or $2.19 per diluted share, during its quarterly earnings call Thursday morning.

Adjusted net earnings were $341 million, or $1.94 per diluted share, compared to a full-year 2016 net loss of $440 million, or $2.81 per diluted share. Adjusted net loss for 2016 was $250 million, or $1.60 per diluted share.

Fourth-quarter 2017 net earnings were $159 million, or $0.90 per diluted share. Adjusted net earnings for the fourth quarter 2017 were $136 million, or $0.76 per diluted share, compared to a fourth quarter 2016 net loss of $105 million, or $0.61 per diluted share. Fourth quarter 2016 adjusted net earnings were $47 million, or $0.27 per diluted share.

Glencore Says 2017 Production of Most Commodities Dropped

According to miner Glencore, 2017 was a down year for production of most commodities, per a MarketWatch report.

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Copper production for the 2017 calendar year fell 8%, Glencore said, although fourth-quarter production was up 20% from the previous quarter.

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