This Morning in Metals: Brazilian Authorities Question Hydro Over Alunorte Stoppage

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This morning in metals news, Brazilian authorities are questioning Norsk Hydro over its decision to halt operations at its Alunorte alumina refinery, the ThyssenkruppTata Steel merger could be subject to merger control regulation and BHP says China’s Belt and Road Initiative could lead to a surge in copper demand.

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Para Surprised by Hydro Decision

According to a Reuters report, the Brazilian state of Para was surprised by Norsk Hydro’s recent move to shut down operations at its Alunorte alumina refinery.

Following the move, aluminum prices have skyrocketed this week (alumina is one of the materials used to produce aluminum). On Wednesday, aluminum prices jumped 2% to its highest level in more than a month.

BHP Says China’s Belt and Road Could Boost Copper Demand

Miner BHP said China’s Belt and Road Initiative could provide a boost of 7% of annual demand to copper, Reuters reported.

According to BHP’s analysis, the initiative represented one-third of the global economy and would yield $1.3 trillion in spending over the decade to 2023.

Merger Control Regulation Could be Coming for Tata-Thyssenkrupp

According to the Economic Times, the European Commission’s Official Journal notes the merger of the European operations of Thyssenkrupp and Tata Steel could be due for merger control regulation.

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The merged operation would become the second-largest steel entity in Europe, behind only ArcelorMittal, should it become official.

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