This Morning in Metals: Copper Falls to One-Week Low

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This morning in metals news, the copper price has slipped to a one-week low, builders in British Columbia are asking the Canadian government to loosen limits on steel imports and U.S. tariffs contributed to a Pittsburgh steelmaker’s down third quarter.

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LME Copper Price Falls

The price of London copper dropped to its lowest level in a week, Reuters reported.

MetalMiner’s Take: LME copper prices have decreased this week, but are still over the $6,000 ceiling. The base metal is also influenced by a stronger U.S. dollar and weaker Chinese sentiment.

However, copper demand seems to be strong and supply is tightening. We could see copper increasing again in the upcoming month.

B.C. Builders Seek Steel Relief

Builders in British Columbia sent a letter to Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Finance Minister Bill Morneau asking that 100,000 tons of rebar be exempted from steel tariffs and quotas announced in October, Reuters reported.

The Canadian government announced the steel safeguards last month.

Pittsburgh Steelmaker Says Tariffs a Factor in Down 3Q

Pittsburgh steelmaker Ampco-Pittsburgh Corp. reported a $7 million third-quarter loss, which its executives indicated was partially attributable to U.S. tariffs on steel, the Pittsburgh-Post Gazette reported.

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The company had purchased a plant in Ontario two years ago, according to the report.

MetalMiner’s Take: Steel tariffs, as MetalMiner has stated many times, have certainly supported higher prices — but they have not provided all of the lift.

A booming economy and the commodity bull market have also created challenges for buying organizations. Companies heavily reliant on non-U.S. sources have more exposure than those who are able to source domestically or regionally. Though MetalMiner has not conducted a formal analysis, most companies have passed on price increases as a way to mitigate some of the impacts of higher steel prices.

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