Morning in Metals: Section 232 Tariffs Working? Competing Studies Duke It Out

This morning in metals (and commodities), a few news bits we’re following:

  • OPEC forecasts fall in demand for cartel’s crude next year. “OPEC estimates the world will need 31.4m barrels a day of the cartel’s crude next year, 2.1m b/d less than demand from 2017, as production from US shale fields continues to swell,” according to the Financial Times (paywall). “The figure underscores the dilemma facing big producer countries which have ramped up output in recent months, but seen oil prices fall by 30 per cent since October.” Full article here.
  • Aluminum sector doing just fine with tariffs, according to one study…The Economic Policy Institute (EPI) “released a new economic study on the impact the aluminum tariffs have had on the aluminum industry, which shows conclusively that the tariffs are helping boost aluminum production and create jobs,” according to the Hellenic Shipping News. “The EPI study points out that as a result of the aluminum tariffs twenty-two new and expansion projects have been announced in downstream aluminum industries producing extruded (rod and bar, pipe and tube and extruded shapes) and rolled (sheet and plate) products.” Full article here.
  • …but according to another study by Business Forward, “tariffs are destroying demand for products manufactured in U.S.” As Industry Week writes, “American manufacturers are paying 17.2% more than their foreign competitors for hot- and cold-rolled steel, according to a new study, from Business Forward released on Dec. 12.” MetalMiner’s old friend Josh Spoores, now Principal Steel Analyst for CRU, is quoted as saying, “Multiple U.S. manufacturers (that are able to) are planning to shift production elsewhere and import a good with steel rather than manufacture stuff in the U.S.” Full article here. 

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