This Morning in Metals: China’s Steel Output Soars in October

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This morning in metals news, China’s October steel output hit a record high, workers and management at U.S. Steel have reached an agreement on a four-year labor deal and the Aluminum Association in a letter criticized the Department of Commerce’s tariff exclusion process.
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Steel Output Jumps Ahead of Cuts

According to a Reuters report, steel output in China surged in October before winter cuts take hold.
China’s steel output hit 82.55 million tons in October, according to the report, up from 72.36 million tons in October 2017.
MetalMiner’s Take: China’s record production output and low capacity utilization rates will continue to put price pressure on global steel markets. Historically, the winter production curbs really don’t dent the glut of excess steel produced by China. MetalMiner pays careful attention to Chinese steel prices, which have largely weakened.
Excess capacity and sluggish demand suggest a weaker global steel price environment. Buying organizations will want to pay careful attention to actual emissions cuts to see if Chinese prices will rise.

Steelworkers OK Four-Year Contract at U.S. Steel

Steelworkers at U.S. Steel have agreed on a four-year labor deal, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported.
According to the report, the contract covers 16,000 workers and includes a 14% wage increase over the four years.
MetalMiner’s Annual Outlook provides 2019 buying strategies for carbon steel

Aluminum Association Says Exclusion Process ‘Undermines’ Domestic Industry

The Aluminum Association penned a letter this week in which it criticizes the now much-maligned tariff exclusion process, saying it “undermines” the domestic aluminum industry.
The letter — addressed to Hillary Hess, director of the Bureau of Industry and Security’s Regulatory Policy Division — says the “inherent uncertainty of the product exclusion process is actually adding an unnecessarily prolonged cost burden to our members and their customers and chilling investment in the aluminum industry, rather than promoting domestic production.”
“The status quo is therefore undermining the intent and the underlying national security rationale of the Section 232 remedy,” it continues.

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