This Morning in Metals: U.S. Steel Pulls Back on Some Proposals in Contract Talks

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This morning in metals news, U.S. Steel contract talks continue with its workers, aluminum prices continued to rise today after a big surge yesterday and U.S. steel import permit applications dropped significantly in September.

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U.S. Steel Pulls Back From Some Proposals in Contract Talks

According to a report by the Times of Northwest Indiana, U.S. Steel has pulled back from some proposals in its contract talks with USW that had the union on the brink of a strike.

MetalMiner’s Take: Buying organizations need to pay much closer attention to labor disputes and production disruptions with tariffs in play. Yesterday, Norsk Hydro shut down its Alunorte alumina refinery plant in Brazil due to an environmental dispute. The shutdown sent aluminum prices soaring by over 2% yesterday and prices remain supported today. Any potential strike at either ArcelorMittal or U.S. Steel could have a similar impact on steel prices.

Aluminum Prices Continue to Rise

Aluminum prices surged yesterday, and continued to rise Thursday, MarketWatch reported.

The price continues to rise on Thursday after news of Norsk Hydro’s plans to close its Alunorte alumina refinery in Brazil.

MetalMiner’s Take: LME aluminum prices rose sharply yesterday, driven by demand concerns. News of a potential closure in the word’s largest alumina refinery in Brazil helped the boost in aluminum prices, as this could create a larger shortage of the metal.

LME aluminum prices have been trading sideways since July. LME aluminum prices increased again, showing a strong uptrend. Trading volumes also seem supportive of this uptrend.

We will see LME aluminum prices continue to increase in the upcoming days, unless supply concerns ease.

Steel Import Permit Applications Down 7.6%

Steel import permit applications fell 7.6% last month compared to August totals, according to a recent American Iron and Steel Institute (AISI) report.

The report, which cites the Department of Commerce’s Steel Import Monitoring and Analysis data, says applications for September totaled 2,739,000 net tons.

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