This Morning in Metals: Chinese Iron Ore Futures Surge

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This morning in metals news, Chinese iron ore futures hit their highest price point in 10 months, Turkey’s steel sector takes another hit, and copper and zinc hit their 2019 highs.

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Iron Ore Rises

Is optimism building vis-a-vis a potential resolution to the ongoing U.S.-China trade dispute?

Apparently, yes (whether that leads to an actual diplomatic breakthrough is something else entirely).

And, according to Reuters, that optimism has contributed to sending Chinese iron ore futures up to a more than 10-month high, with Dalian ore gaining as much as 2.6%.

Strain on Turkish Steel

The Turkish steel sector was already under pressure after the 2018 diplomatic standoff over the detention of American pastor Andrew Brunson. Brunson was eventually released in October, but not before the Trump administration in August announced it would double its Section 232 tariffs on steel and aluminum with respect to imports from Turkey.

The move thus raised the duties to 50% and 20%, respectively, on a Turkish steel sector that was already suffering after the initial 25% steel duty was imposed in March 2018. U.S. imports of Turkish steel through the first half of 2018 were down 56% compared with the first half of 2017.

The hits keep on coming for the Turkish steel sector, as E.U. member states this week voted to impose steel quotas extending until 2021.

“Our export markets have disappeared, the local market hardly exists, we’ve got lots of capacity and no market,” a London-based Turkish steel trader was quoted by Reuters as saying.

Copper, Zinc Surging

The price of copper and zinc on Friday reached their highest levels in the year to date, CNBC reported.

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As with the Dalian iron ore surge, markets are seizing on optimism that a U.S.-China accord is drawing nearer.

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