This Morning in Metals: Gillette Wins Exemption from Section 232 Steel Tariff

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This morning in metals news, Gillette gets a break from the U.S.’s Section 232 steel tariff, Century Aluminum strikes a deal to keep its Charleston smelter going through at least 2020 and Indian steel mills are increasingly looking outside the country for iron ore.

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Gillette Exempted from 232 Steel Tariff

Companies continue to seek exemptions from the U.S.’s Section 232 steel and aluminum tariffs, as they argue U.S. producers do not make the metal they need in the appropriate quantity, quality or type.

The latest firm to win an exemption is razor blade maker Gillette, CNN reported. According to the report, parent company Procter & Gamble said Gillette has imported steel for its razor blades from a Swedish supplier for more than 20 years.

Century Aluminum Signs Power Contract Extension

Aluminum producer Century Aluminum has signed a contract with its electricity provider that will see its Charleston smelter remain open through at least 2020, according to The Post & Courier.

MetalMiner’s Take: Aluminum buyers can breathe a sign of relief that Century Aluminum signed an extension deal through 2020 for electricity to power its Mount Holly pot lines.

But going forward, Century will certainly need to avail itself of obtaining the lowest-cost electricity on the open market; energy remains a primary cost driver for aluminum production.

The market for certain commercial alloys of semi-finished materials remains severely constrained within the U.S. market.
The trade cases, sanctions, plus the tariffs have eliminated over 150,000 tons of semi-finished material to U.S. buyers. Although some of this material will come from European and other alternative suppliers (the U.S. market remains quite profitable to those suppliers), federal, state and local government authorities will want to work in tandem to ensure existing primary and secondary aluminum production stays online.

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Indian Steel Mills Look to Other Sources for Iron Ore

According to the Economic Times, Indian steel mills are starting to look outside the country for sources of iron ore due to difficulties in transporting the ore from Indian mines.

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